Historical Time Line
By the early 18th century the role of the Marines had been resolved.
They were totally under the control of the Admiralty.
Their roles consisted of:
1. Guard and sentry duties.
2. The maintenance of discipline and enforcement of regulations aboard ship.
3. Marines quarters aboard ship were kept separate from the seamen.
4. They stood guard when punishment was being carried out.
5. At friendly ports they performed guard duties, maintained order and ensured that sailors did not desert their ship.
6. To Guard Garrison captured fortresses until relieved by the infantry.
7. To act as sharpshooters and gunners on board ship.
8. To act as boarding parties to seize ships and assist in sailing captured ships to friendly ports.
9. When occasion arose to fight in land battles.
1702. Wednesday 8th March. With the death of King William III. His policy was
adopted by his successor Queen Anne, who entered into treaties of
alliance with the Emperor of Germany, the State’s General of the United
Provinces, and other Princes and Potentates, for preserving the liberty
and balance of power in Europe, and for defeating the ambitious views
of France. The measures for increasing the efficiency of the fleet had
occasioned the suggestion of raising Corps of Marines, capable of
acting on land as well as at sea. Several Regiments of the regular army
were appointed to serve as Marines, and six additional Regiments were
especially raised for that service.
1702. Tuesday 14th March. A Royal Warrant was issued, authorising Colonel
George Villiers to raise a Regiment of Marines, which was to consist of
twelve companies, of two Sergeants, three Corporals, two Drummers, and
fifty-nine private soldiers each, with an additional Sergeant to the
1702. Thursday 4th of May. The declaration of hostilities against Spain and
France was announced. The ‘War of the Spanish Succession’ as it became
known with England, Scotland, Germany, Portugal and Holland all
fighting against Spain and France. Triggered by the death of the last
Habsburg King of Spain, the infirmed and childless Charles ll. The War
of the Spanish Succession was primarily fought in Europe. and was to
continue until 1713.
1st June. Upon the declaration of war with France and Spain, of which
both nations possessed powerful fleets as well as numerous armies. The
British Parliament felt the expediency of enabling the Queen to
increase the efficiency of her navy, by forming Corps of Marines, which
could act at sea as well as on land. Six Regiments were accordingly
added to the regular Army as Marine Corps, and six others of the
regular Regiments of Infantry were appointed for sea service The
Regiments of Marines were commanded by Colonel Thomas Saunderson's, now
thirtieth foot. Colonel George Villiers's, now thirty first foot.
Colonel Edward Fox's, now thirty-second foot. And Colonel Harry
Mordaunt's. They were to fight in Spain, France and in North America
alongside Dutch Marines. The six Regiments of Foot for sea-service
were, Commanded Colonel Ventria Columbine's, now sixth foot. Colonel
Thomas Erie's, now nineteenth foot. Colonel Gustavns Hamilton's, now
twentieth foot. Colonel Lord Lucas's, now thirty-fourth foot. Colonel
Earl of Donegal's, now thirty-fifth foot. Colonel Lord Charlemont's,
now thirty-sixth foot. Her Majesty's Order for levying this body of men
was contained in the following Royal Warrant, dated Thursday 1st of
June 1702: Anne R. “Our pleasure is, that this establishment of six
Regiments of Marines, and six other Regiments for Sea-Service, do
commence and take place from the respective times of raising”. "And our
further pleasure is, that the order given by our dearest brother the
late King, deceased, and such orders as are, or shall be, given by us,
touching the pay or entertainment of our said forces, or any of them,
or any charges thereunto belonging, shall be duly complied with, and
that no new charge be added to this establishment without being
communicated to our High Treasurer, or Commissioners of our Treasury
for the time being. Given at our Court at St. James's, on the first day
of June in the first year of our reign." By Her Majesty's Command.
Its interesting to note that the Marine Regiments had 2nd Lieutenants whilst those Regiments designated for sea service had ensigns.
1702 - 1713. ‘Queen Anne’s War’ was fought mainly in North America was the second in
a series of French and Indian Wars fought between France and England,
for the control of the Americas. The war also involved numerous Native
American tribes allied with each nation. At that time Spain was also
allied with France.
1702. The 30th Regiment the 31st Regiment, and the 32nd Regiments were formed
as Marine Corps, and were employed as such during the wars of the reign
of Queen Anne.
1702. Saturday 1st July. Rules and Instructions for the better government of
the Marine Regiments were issued by the authority of Her Majesty Queen
Anne, in which it was directed, "That when on shore they were to be
quartered in the vicinity of the dock yards, in order to guard them
from embezzlement, or from any attempt that might be made on them by an
enemy. Full instructions were also given as to their pay, subsistence,
and clothing, which directed that the same deductions should be made
for clothing as was usual in the land forces. Also that one day's pay
in every year be deducted from officers and soldiers for the Hospital.
When on board ship they were to have an equal proportion of provisions
with the seamen, without any deductions from their pay, the soldiers
receiving short allowance money like the seamen. In order to render
such portions of the Marine regiments as might be on shore, useful on
all occasions when their services might be required, Her Majesty
directed, that it should rest with herself, or with the Lord High
Admiral, the Prince George of Denmark, to dispose of them at such
places nearest to the several dock-yards as might be judged most
convenient, and as there might be occasion for labourers to despatch
necessary public works. Her Majesty empowered the High Admiral, or the
Commissioners for executing that office, to cause to be employed in the
dock yards so many of the Marine soldiers as might be judged fitting,
and to make them such daily allowance for their labour, besides their
ordinary pay, as should seem reasonable. The Marine forces being thus
placed under the control of the Lord High Admiral, His Royal Highness
was pleased to nominate Colonel William Seymour (of the fourth Regiment
of Foot) to superintend the whole, with the rank of Brigadier General,
whose peculiar duties were to observe, that the men were comfortably
quartered, that the officers were attentive in their respective
departments, and that the Marine soldiers, when embarked on board of
ship, were supplied with proper sea-clothes and other suitable
necessaries. When the Marines were serving afloat, they were to be
under the command of the Naval Officers of the ships.”
1702. The uniform of the Marines at that time consisted of high crowned
leather caps, covered with cloth of the same colour as the facings of
the Regiment, and ornamented with devices, the same as the caps worn by
the grenadiers scarlet frock coat, buff waist belt, black pouch carried
in front, with bayonet belt attached and buff gaiters.
1702. July. Colonel Villiers's Corps of Marines, now the Thirty First
Regiment, soon after its formation was called upon to supply five
Companies for embarkation for active service on board the fleet
destined against Spain, these Companies embarked in the latter part of
May from Plymouth, and proceeded to join the fleet at Portsmouth, from
whence the expedition sailed to Cadiz during the month of July. The
heavily armed fleet arrived off Cadiz on Saturday 12th August, and the
Duke summoned the place, but his terms being refused, he landed on the
Tuesday 15th at the Bay of Bulls, between Rota and Fort St. Catherine
under great disadvantages and a well conducted opposition. He then
marched upon Rota, where the horses and stores were disembarked. Two
days later he advanced towards the town of St. Mary. Rota was retaken
by a coup and the British garrison of 300 men were captured. However,
the attempt on Cadiz eventually failed, and the troops were
re-embarked, and sailed from Cadiz on the Saturday 30th September. In
alluding to this expedition, Bishop Burnet remarks, "It is certain our
Court had false accounts of the state the place was in, both with
relation to the garrison, and to the fortifications, the garrison was
much stronger. While the fortifications were in a better state, than
was represented." 10,000 Marines and Foot Soldiers had been
unsuccessfully in an attempt to capture Cadiz.
1702. Wednesday 16th August. The Battle off Portobello took place in the West Indies.
1702. Saturday 19th August (OS).
The Action took place between an English squadron under the command of
Vice Admiral John Benbow and a French under command of Admiral Jean du
Casse, off Cape Santa Marta on the coast of present-day Colombia South
America, a little to the east of the mouth of the Rio Magdalena, during
the ‘War of the Spanish Succession’. Benbow vigorously attacked the
French squadron, but the refusal of most of his captains to support the
action allowed du Casse to escape. Benbow lost a leg during the
engagement and died of illness about two months later. While two of the
captains were convicted of cowardice and shot. Benbow's determination
to pursue the French, in what proved to be his last fight, proved
irresistible to the public imagination. The events of the fight
inspired a number of ballads, usually entitled Admiral Benbow or Brave
Benbow, which were still favourites among British sailors more than a
1702. Wednesday 11th - 12th October. The Attack on the Treasure ships at
Virgo, during the War of the Spanish Succession. The English and Dutch
forces surprised and captured the Spanish defended harbour and shared
part of the silver from a treasure fleet that was being unloaded.
However, the Spanish sailors had already unloaded most of its cargo.
1703. Saturday 6th January. Seven companies of the Regiment were stationed at
Plymouth, and on the Saturday 27th four companies were ordered for
embarkation on board of the ships Suffolk and Grafton, which proceeded
on service to the coast of Spain, to join the fleet under the command
of Admiral Sir George Rooke, During December Colonel Villiers, who was
in command of the Regiment on board of the fleet drowned. On Saturday
6th December he was succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Lutterell.
1703. February. Hovenden Walker at Guadaloupe.
1703. Wednesday 7th March. The Battle and Siege of Guadeloupe in the
Caribbean was a failed attempt by English forces led by Christopher
Codrington to capture the French controlled isle, during the ‘War of
the Spanish Succession’. The English struggled to gain a foot hold
owing to a shortage of supplies, while Guadeloupe’s Governor Charles
Auger received reinforcements from Martinique which contributed to the
English eventually lifted the siege.
Colonel Codrington, Governor off H.M. Leeward Islands, came with the
Land Force, under his command, on board a squadron of H.M. Ships, with
divers Privateers, and other vessels, receiving several shots from the
shore without doing any other mischief other than killing one man, and
a boy. The Colonel stood off till the 10th March, waiting for the
Maidstone and the other small vessels that carried the provisions and
ammunition. On the 12th March, Colonel Byam with his own Regiment, and
200 of Coronel Whethan’s men, landed at the break of day at a place
called Les Petite. About nine in the morning Coronel Whetham landed in
a bay to the Northwest of the town called Les Bailiff, where he met
with a vigorous resistance from all the enemies forces in very good and
advantageous fortifications. Yet not withstanding all their fire, the
English marched up to their entrenchments, with their muskets
shouldered, not firing a shot at them until they could lay the muzzles
of the guns upon the enemy’s breast works. The English had three
Captains killed before they could make themselves masters of the
enemy’s entrenchments, which they did around noon, and an hour later of
La Bayliffe, and of the Jacobine Church, which the enemy had fortified,
with 10 of their Cannon.
About 2 pm the English took a platform with three of their Canon, and
the Marines Regiment attacked the Jacobine plantation and Breast Work
all along the Jacobine River, which the enemy quit upon the firing of
two volleys off small arms upon them. The following day the English
pressed on to the town of Basse Terre, where they sent parties ahead to
burn and destroy the enemy’s houses, works, Sugar Canes, and
provisions, lying Siege to the Fort and Castle of the same place.
However, after all their endeavours they had not been able to master
the main Fort, which was both naturally and artificially very strong,
they were forced to quit the whole island.
1703. Sunday 18th March. Montague engaged a french Squadron.
1703. Friday 27th July. Dilkes destroyed French ships off Graville.
31th August. The Landing at Althea. The whole fleet came inside to
Althaea in search of fresh water. HMS Flamborough was sent close to the
shore to cover the descent of their Regiments of Marines, who landed
without any manner of confusion, and were actually drawn up in Battalia
on the shore, before half the fleet had come to anchor. Brigadier
General Seymour landed with the first detachment, and gave such orders
that a more orderly descent could not have been made in an enemy
country. This done they set up a camp, and the Spaniards upon seeing
this brought plenty of provisions for them, for which they paid them.
The fleet left without anybody on both sites being injured.
1703. Friday 16th November. The Great Storm, 13 men of war ships lost.
1703. Monday 26th November. HMS Oxford. HMS Warspite and HMS Lichfield captured the Hauardeux.
1704. A second attempt to Capture Cadiz was abandon in favour of all Marines
and Foot Soldiers being diverted and used to take the grand prize that
1704. February. The Thirty First Regiment at that time was a Marine Corps
serving under Admiral Sir George Rooke. During February the fleet
headed towards Lisbon, and from there it proceeded on to Barcelona,
where the troops were landed under the Command of Major General the
Prince of Hesse Darmstadt, on the Monday 19th May. However, the force
being inadequate for the purpose intended, was re-embarked the
1704. February. During the reign of Queen Anne (Friday 6th February 1665 -
Wednesday 1st August 1714) certain Independent Companies of Marines
were raised for the soul purpose of aiding in the defence of the
British possessions in the West Indies. The first important service on
which the Marine Corps were employed during her reign was on board the
fleet Commanded by Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovel. He was instructed to
make every possible arrangement by conciliation or by conquest, among
the dependencies of the French and Spanish monarchies. In order to
ensure a cordial reception of the Archduke Charles of Austria in
opposition to Philip, Duke of Anjou of France, to the throne of Spain.
After some delays, the Archduke finally arrived at Lisbon under Admiral
Sir George Rooke on the Monday 25th February in order devise a plan of
future operations with his ally the King of Portugal.
1704. Friday 12 March. Rear-Admiral Dilkes captured three Spanish ships.
1704. April. Sir George Hooke, after cruising with his fleet along the coast
of Portugal, returned to Lisbon and welcomed the Prince of
Hesse-Darmstadt on board. Later on Sunday 20th April they sailed
towards Barcelona. Upon the arrival of the fleet, the Prince of Hesse
sent a letter to Don Vclasco the Governor of Bar, requiring him to
surrender the town, but he declined. Sixteen hundred Marines were
landed under the command, of Major General the Prince of
Hesse-Darmstadt, on Monday 19th May. This force, was found to be
inadequate for the purpose, and was re-embarked the following day. The
next object of attack was to be the Rock of Gibraltar where the Prince
of Hesse landed during the afternoon of the Monday 21st July with 1800
British and Dutch Marines. Acting upon the decision of a council of
war. His Highness proceeded to cut off all communication with the
mainland, to bombard the place, and to reduce it to the obedience of
Charles III King of Spain. The governor, on being summoned, refused to
surrender, alleging that all the garrison had taken an oath of
allegiance to King Philip V.
Admiral Sir George Rooke having directed a strong force to proceed
against the South Mole, had driven the enemy from their guns, several
boats manned and armed, were then detached under the command of Captain
Whitaker, of the Navy, who soon obtained possession of the great
platform. About one hundred of the besiegers, whose impetuous bravery
had carried them within the effects of a mine connected with the fort,
were killed or wounded by the explosion. The rest advancing rapidly,
gained a redoubt half way between the mole and the town. The Governor
at the urgent insistence of the inhabitants, was induced to capitulate,
and the Prince of Hesse took possession of the garrison on the evening
of Thursday 24th July. The loss in effecting the capture of this
important fortress was Sixty one killed, and two hundred and six
wounded. The attack of the seamen was one of the boldest and most
difficult ever made, with them being obliged to climb up rocks and
precipices. Thus it was taken in three days, a fortress since made
impregnable to all assaults. The loss of Gibraltar disconcerted the
measures of Philip V, and of his grandfather Louis XIV. Eight thousand
men, under the Marquis dc Villadarias, were immediately detached from
the Spanish army to retake the fortress, and the French Admiral
received orders to engage the British and Dutch fleets, and to
cooperate in the recapture of Gibraltar. The hostile fleets engaged on
the Sunday 24th August, about eleven leagues south of Malaga, after
each had suffered severely, they were separated in the night. The enemy
retired to Toulon, and Sir George Rooke sailed to Gibraltar. Once there
and after having held a Council of War, it was determined to return
home, and the confederate fleet sailed for England, arriving at
Spithead on the Thursday 25th September. Sir John Leake and Admiral
Vander-dussen were left at Lisbon to protect the coast of Portugal, and
relieve Gibraltar, if it should be besieged as was anticipated.
Marquis de Villadarias commenced the siege of Gibraltar on the
Wednesday 22nd October, and the garrison, composed of Marines under the
command of the Prince of Hesse, sustained a siege by seven thousand
men. The purpose of the enemy was to have stormed from the South Mole,
united with the desperate attempt of a Spanish forlorn hope climbing
the rock, and a general attack from the mainland. The fortress was
maintained against very superior numbers, and the fire power of the
enemy's batteries having caused a lot of damaged. A body of men was
landed from the fleet to assist in the defence. Brigadier Fox and
several other officers and men, having been killed on the Friday 5th
December, while aid was solicited from the army in Portugal. Admiral
Sir John Leake accordingly sailed from Lisbon on the Wednesday 10th of
December, with a fleet, having on board a battalion of the first and
second foot guards, Barrymore's Regiment, now thirteenth foot,
Donegal's Regiment, now thirty-fifth foot, the Dutch Regiment of Waes,
and a Portuguese Regiment, amounting in all to upwards of three
thousand men. On their passage they fell in with the enemy's squadron
under Monsieur de Pointi, but they succeeded in arriving at Gibraltar,
although some of the transports had separated. These Corps were safely
landed on the Thursday 18th December, and the Prince, strengthened by
this reinforcement, made a sortie on the Tuesday 23rd, and destroyed
the lines, that had been erected within a hundred and sixty paces of
1704. Sunday 24th August. The Battle of Malaga Southern Spain, was the
largest naval battle during the ‘War of the Spanish Succession’.
1704. Wednesday 29th October. Leake captured six French ships at Gibraltar.
1705. Monday 2nd February. Having received considerable reinforcements,
placed at his disposal the Marquis de Villadarias made an attempt to
storm the Bound Tower, to ascertain what might be effective by a larger
force. Where upon on Saturday 7th February the enemy attacked with five
hundred chosen Grenadiers, French and Walloons, Commanded by Lieut.
General Thouy, supported by one thousand Spanish troops. They ascended
the hill in perfect silence at daybreak, and again attempted to storm
the Bound Tower, which was defended by Colonel Borr of the now thirty
second Regiment. The assailants were throwing from above great stones
and grenades on his men, at last obliged him to retire into that part
of the works where the foot guards were posted. Flushed with success,
they advanced too far, when they were gallantly charged by Colonel
Moncall, of Barrymore's thirteenth Regiment, and driven from the
Bound Tower. Colonel Rivett, of the Coldstream guards, having got up
the rock on the right of the covered way with twenty grenadiers,
favoured very much Colonel Moncalfs success. The garrison by this time
had assembled, and kept up so destructive a fire that although the
enemy was obliged to make a precipitate retreat, losing seventy men
killed on the spot, upwards of two hundred wounded, and one Captain,
four Lieutenants, and forty men taken. The loss on the part of the
garrison was twenty seven men killed, and one hundred and twenty
Tcsse arrived with additional troops to carry on the siege, the
garrison also received fresh reinforcements from Portugal, besides
supplies of every description. Admiral Sir John Leake sailed from the
Tagus on the Friday 6th March, and his arrival in the Bay of Gibraltar
on the Tuesday 10th, was again so sudden, that he completely surprised
the Baron de Pointi, together with the whole of his squadron,
consisting of five ships of the line, three of which were captured, and
two were driven on shore, and burnt by the enemy. After a siege of
seven months the enemy retired, in April, giving up all hopes of being
able to make any impression on the fortress, his efforts were then
confined to a very feeble blockade. The fortress of Gibraltar, seated
upon the territory of Spain, was thus rendered subject to the British.
1,900 British and 400 Dutch Marines prevented Spanish reinforcements
from reaching the fortress. Later, British ships bombarded the city
while Marines and seamen stormed the defences. After which they later
withstood a nine month siege. Today the Royal Marines display only the
battle honour Gibraltar on their badge, while their close relationship
with the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps who fought alongside them
continues to this day.
1705. Tuesday 10th March. Leake destoyed or took five French line-of-battle ships.
1705. Sunday 12th July. The Surrender and Capture of Carthagena, having been
garrisoned by 600 Marines under Major Hedge, The town and castle of
Alicant had also fallen.
1705. Wednesday 29th July. The Capture of Alicant.
1705. Wednesday 23rd September. Barcelona capitulated.
1706. Tuesday 23rd March – 30th April. The Defence of Barcelona.
1706. Tuesday 20th April. The Resolution burnt in the presence ot the French squadron.
1706. Monday 26th April. The relief of Barcelona.
1706. Friday 25th June. The capitulation of Ostend.
1706. Thursday 12th August. The Siege of Barcelona and its capitulation to.
1706. Tuesday 14th September. The Capture of Majorca.
1706. September. Leake at the Balearic Isles.
1706. December. HMS Romney cut out a French Ship at Malaga.
1706. Sunday 26th December. HMS Romney and consort destroyed Content.
1707. January. HMS Romney captured the Mercure.
1707. Saturday 15th January. The Battle off St. Estevan. The Marines had a
considerable share in the Victory of St. Estevan. Colonel Wills and his
Regiment and other English and Dutch troops, was attacked with a great
superior force by the advanced guard of the French Army. Wills who was
posted on high ground, repulsed his assailants, who were driven to the
plain below in great confusion. The following day reinforcements came
up under Lieutenant General Conyngham, who assumed command. The same day
the French, who were commanded by the Chevalier D’Asfeldt, returned to
the attack in still greater strength, having been also reinforced.
However, again they suffered a most signal defeat, though the British
had to mourn the loss of General Conyngham, who fell mortally wounded.
St. Estevan was perhaps the most complete British Victory in the War.
1707. Sunday 1st May. The Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament each
passed an Act of Parliament to simultaneously dissolve and form the new
combined Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The new
Parliament would sit at the Palace of Westminster, the home of the old
English Parliament. Previous attempts at union had been made, but this
was the first time there was sufficient support on both sides to make
it happen. Put simply, Scotland needed financial support from England,
and the English wanted to ensure that Scotland would not choose a
different monarch. It was not, however, a universal popular move and
many teething troubles had to be overcome as the two different sets of
traditions and practice were merged into one parliament. The few ships
belonging to the Scottish Navy became British and the already blended
national ensigns of the two counties were by proclamation of Friday 8th
July ordered to be worn by the ships of all British subjects in the
form of a cannon on a red flag, the Jack its self being reserved as the
peculiar distinction of Queens ships. The union with Scotland revived
an arrangement which had already existed for a short time under the
Commonwealth, but had ceased during Restoration.
1707. Monday 2nd May. A Portuguese convoy was defeated by Claude de Forbin.
1707. Tuesday 28th June. The Var. “The enemy had entrenched themselves very
strongly on the other side of the Var, a river that was a league
distant from Nice, by extending their Works above Four Miles from the
shore, and these Intrenchments were guarded by 6 Battalions of Foot, and
800 horses, while Lieutenant General Dillion, an Irish man, was
marching with all expedition to re-inforce them with 12 Fresh
Battalions.” “Sir Cloudsley Shovel commanded 4 British Men of
War, and one Dutch, to sail into the Mouth of the Var, attended by 600
Seamen and Marines in open boats, under the conduct of Sir John Norris.
The men of War came within Musket shot of the enemy’s works, which lay
so exposed to our fire, that their Cavalry and many of their Foot gave
way. The Admiral himself followed Sir John Norris to the place of
action, and observing the disorder of the enemy, commanded him to put
to land, and flank them in their intrenchments. His men advanced in
such an undaunted manner, and seemed so intrepid and fearless, by
tossing up their hats in the air, and their loud Halloo’s that the
enemy had not courage enough to stay for them, but fearing to be
surrounded, fled from their works and retired with great Precipitation.”
1707. Friday July 29th - 21th August. The Battle of Toulon took place in France during the ‘War of the Spanish
Succession’. In which a French and Spanish force defeated one from
Austria, the Dutch Republic, Savoy and Britain. Prince Eugene tried to
take the French naval port of Toulon. Eugene had crossed the river Var
although hampered by the negligence and inefficiency of Victor Amadeus
II of Savoy, had reached Frejus. He was in touch with the British fleet
under Admiral Shovell. However, Victor Amadeus' procrastination caused
further delays, and gave time for the troops which the Duke of Berwick
was sending home from Spain to reinforce Marshal René de Froulay de
Tessé at Toulon before the arrival of the Allies. Tessé retook the
crucial heights of Santa Catarina, which the Allies had stormed a week
earlier; and Eugene, finding his retreat menaced and little chance of
taking Toulon, had to abandon his attempt of Monday 22nd August, and
fall back across the Var, having lost 10,000 men in this ill fated
attempt. Before Shovell evacuated he bombarded the French harbour and
was able to sink two French ships of the line and severely damage two
others. The campaign's only success was that, in order to prevent their
ships falling into the enemy's hands, the French had sunk their whole
squadron of more than forty six ships of between fifty and 110 guns in
the harbour. King Louis XIV gave orders that they be sunk and later be
re-floated. He was concerned that the Royal Navy would burn the ships,
the three deckers would lie with only their upper decks showing above
the water. However, much of the damage sustained was irreparable. It’s
believed that the French Navy lost 15 ships of the line during this
1707. July. Part of a convoy from Baltic captured by Claude de Forbin.
1707. August. Four french ships captured off Newfoundland.
1707. Monday 10th October. The Cumberland, Ruby and Chester captured by Claude de Forbin.
1707. Sunday 23rd October. The loss of the Association, Eagle, Romney and Firebrand.
1708. Saturday 12th May. Leake's Fleet took a french frigate and convoy.
1708. Monday 28th May. Wager's action off Cartagena.
1708. Thursday 2nd August. The Capture of Cagliari the capital of Sardinia.
Marines participated in the capture and occupation of Caliari in
Sardinia, which surrendered after a night time bombardment.
1708. Friday 14th September. The Capture of Port Mahon. An Anglo-Dutch naval
force under the command of Lieut. General James Stanhope landed on the
island of Minorca and laid siege to the town of Mahon. Which was taken
after a short investment, capitulating on the Tuesday 18th September.
1708. Tuesday 30th October. The surrender of fort Mahon.
1709. Saturday 2nd March. The Assurance and consorts engaged Duguay-Trouin.
1709. Monday 8th April. The Bristol captured by Duguay-Trouin.
1709. Tuesday 9th April. Lord Dursley defeated Duguay-Trouin, and re-took the Bristol.
1709. Monday 6th May. HMS Portland re-captured HMS Coventry.
1709. Saturday 18th May. HMS Falmouth defended a convoy against 4 French vessels.
1709. June. The Fowey taken by two French Frigates.
1709. Monday 23rd September. HMS Plymouth captured the Adriadne.
A plan was formed to attack Port Royal in the province of Nova Scotia,
at that time in possession of the French. For this purpose a body of
400 Marines was embarked, and the expedition was entrusted to the joint
conduct of Colonel Nicholson of the land-forces, and Captain Martin of
the navy. The squadron proceeded to Boston, where they were to be
reinforced by some ships, and such provincial auxiliaries, as might be
ready, or were necessary for this intended conquest. Here a Council of
War was held, which arranged the future operations of a body, now
consisting of 2000 men. They reached their destination upon the 24th of
September, and the proper ground for landing having been reconnoitred,
the debarkation took place on the following day. The enemy opened a
heavy fire upon the boats from their guns and mortars, but with little
effect. A bomb vessel drifting up with the tide of flood within reach
of the Fort, rendered important service during the two first days,
which was spiritedly aided by the military exertions on shore. Upon the
first day of October, the Governor of the Fortress having expressed an
inclination to surrender upon terms, they were taken into consideration
and agreed to. Here a Garrison of Marines was left. Having thus reduced
the place, it was now named Annapolis Royal, in honour of her Majesty,
under whose auspices it was conquered.
1709. October. HMS Gloucester captured by duguay-Trouin.
1709. December – Monday 7th April 1710. The Defence of Alicant.
1710. Saturday 3rd May. HMS Suffolk captured the Gaillard.
1710. Medals were very sparingly distributed, and there seem to have been no
instance whatsoever of their having been officially given to sea men.
For Rear Admiral Dilkes’s destruction of the French shipping near
Grandville in 1703 the Queen ordered gold medals to be struck for
presentation to the Admiral and Officers, but this is almost the sole
example of the kind.
1710. Sunday 13th July. An expedition was planned and executed against the
Isle of Crete in the province of Languedoc and troops and Marines were
landed. The enemy put up a feeble resistance and the fort upon which
was mounted eighteen Cannons, surrendered the same day. The Regiment of
Stanhope, and three hundred Marines later advanced against Adge, and
the town surrender without resistance. The Isle of Crete was later
recovered by the French Army under the Duke of Roquetaine, after the
British troops had previously left.
1710. Tuesday 29th July. HMS Kent captured the Superbe.
1710. August. HMS Seven and HMS Portland destroyed French settelments in Newfoundland.
1710. Sunday 5th - Monday 13th October. The Siege of Port Royal also
became known as the Conquest of Acadia. During the early part of the
year a plan had been hatched to attack Port Royal in the province of
Nova Scotia, at that time in possession of the French. Under the
command of Daniel d'Auger de Subercase. For this purpose a body of six
hundred Marines were embarked, and the expedition was entrusted to the
joint conduct of Colonel Nicholson of the Marine forces, and Captain
Martin of the Navy. The squadron proceeded to Boston, where they were
reinforced by some more ships, and provincial auxiliaries. For this
intended conquest a council of war was held, and arrangements were made
for the debarkation of a body consisting of two thousand five hundred
men which took place on the Wednesday 24th September. There followed a
siege that lasted nine days, before the Governor finally surrendered
the fortress, and a garrison of Marines took possession on the Sunday
13th October. The fortress was also re-named Annapolis Royal, in honour
of Queen Anne in whose reign it was conquered. The siege was the third
British attempt during ‘Queen Anne's War’ to capture the Acadian
1710. Monday 29th December. HMS Pembroke and HMS Falcon taken by French Squadron.
1711. In the early part of the year it was agreed to make an attack on the
town of Quebec, the capital of the French possessions in Canada, for
which service Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker and Major General John Hill
were appointed Commanders in Chief, a large fleet of ships of war
formed part of the armament, which was to be further strengthened by
troops from the American colonies, they were directed to proceed to
Boston in New England, and to make arrangements for this undertaking.
They reached Naerlaskel near Boston on the Wednesday 24th June, and
having collected the provincial Corps, and withdrawn the Marines from
Annapolis Royal, which had been occupied by these Corps since its
surrender during 1709, they eventually sailed after many delays on
Thursday 30th July. The expedition did not reach the St. Lawrence river
until Friday 21st August, when it encountered storms, and being
furnished with pilots who were unacquainted with the navigation of that
river, eight transports, a store ship, and a sloop were lost by
shipwreck, and upwards of eighty persons, including officers, soldiers,
and women, principally belonging to Colonel Kane's fourth Regiment, and
Colonel Clayton's thirty-seventh Regiment, perished in this fatal
service. A scarcity of provisions had arisen, and it was then
determined by a council of war that further operations should be
abandoned. Some of the Corps proceeded to Annapolis Royal, and the
squadron returned to England during October.
Friday 20th March. Sir John Jennings arrived at Barcelona in order to
assume the command of the British Fleet. To watch the enemies ports, to
distress their trade, and to keep open the communication of
intelligence and supplies for the detached forces and Allies, were all
that he could now attempt in the tottering cause of King Charles. About
this time Joseph Emperor of Germany died whose bequeath of all his
dominions to the Royal Competitor compensated for past struggles, and
averted that blow to his pride which must soon have ensued from the
desperate state of his affairs, by a total dereliction of his object.
That event called upon him to fill the throne of his country; to obey
which, his Majesty soon after embarked on board the English fleet, and
was escorted to Italy, His Royal Consort still remained behind, with a
view to inspire a motive for farther efforts, but the suspension of
arms between Great Britain and France put a period to every active
co-operation. The Empress, with her retinue, embarked at Barcelona,
early in 1712, and landed at Genoa upon the 26th March, from where she
pursued her journey towards the destined seat of her power.
a tedious negotiation, the stages, and detailed terms, of peace was
restored by the Treaty of Utrecht, on the 3lst March 1713. Britain
retained possession of Gibraltar, Minorca, and Nova Scotia, each
conquered during the war, and in effecting all of which the Marine
forces, established during the reign of Queen Anne, very essentially
contributed. The extraordinary expenses of this long war,
notwithstanding its duration, did not exceed forty-four millions,
which, considering the immense forces kept on foot, and the subsidies
granted to so many of the Continental Powers, appear but a small sum.
1711. Friday 27th March. HMS Exeter and HMS Lion re-captured HMS Pembroke.
1711. HMS Hampton Court captured the Toulouse.
1711. June. HMS Advice captured by privateers.
1711. Monday 27th July. Commodore Littleton captured a Spanish Galleon.
1711. Thursday 15th October. HMS Edgar blown at Spithead.
1713. The Marines were reduced to three Regiments who were transferred to the
line to become the 30th of Foot (a predecessor of the Royal Anglian
Regiment), and the 32nd Foot. Only four Companies of Marine Invalids
1713. Wednesday 1st March. Peace was restored between Britain and France
after signing the treaty of Utrecht. By this treaty it was settled that
Britain should retain possession of Gibraltar, Minorca, and Nova
Scotia. However, the Marines which had been formed during the Reign of
Queen Anne, were ordered to be disbanded. They were considered to be
part of a war establishment, and a spirit of public economy was needed
after the termination of hostilities. However, the consequence was that
the whole of the Marine Regiments were disbanded by the end of the year.
1713 - 1739. It must be noted that during this time all sea, and land battles involved Marines.
1714. Saw the formation of four invalid companies under the establishment of
the Army. Apart from these four Company’s there was no Corps until the
outbreak of hostility with Spain during 1739.
1715 - 1719. The first Jacobite Rebellion was a political movement in Britain and
Ireland that aimed to restore the Roman Catholic Stuart King James II
of England and his heirs to the thrones of England, Scotland and
1715. HMS August and HMS Garland were wrecked in the baltic.
1716. Operations against the Barary Corsairs.
1718 - 1720. The War of the Quadruple Alliance was a result of the ambitions of King
Philip V of Spain, his wife Elisabeth Farnese, and their chief minister
Giulio Alberoni to retake lost territories in Italy and to claim the
French throne. It saw the defeat of Spain by an alliance of Britain,
France, Austria, and the Dutch Republic. Savoy later joined the
coalition as the fifth ally. Although fighting began as early as 1717,
war was not publically declared until December 1718. It was brought to
an end by the Treaty of the Hague during 1720.
1718. Thursday 11th August. Byng's Victory off Cape Passaro.
1719. October. The Seizure of Vigo.
1720's -1830's. Long Land Pattern Musket was standard issue for the British Empire's land forces.
1722. April. HMS Swallow destroyed Roberts Piratical vessels.
1726. Hosier in the West Indies.
1727. Wager's Relief of Gibralta.
1729. The Dursley Galley took Guarda- Costa.
1731. The Episode of Jenkins Ear.
1733. Operations against the Barary Corsnirs.
1739 - 1748. England declared war on Spain that became known as the War of Jenkins'
Ear. A conflict between Britain and Spain that grew out of the
commercial rivalry of the two powers and led to involvement in the
larger War of the Austrian Succession. Its unusual name, is thought to
have been coined by Thomas Carlyle 1858, and refers to an ear severed
from Robert Jenkins Captain of a British merchant ship. The severed ear
was subsequently exhibited before the British Parliament. The tale of
the ear's separation from Jenkins following the boarding of his vessel
by Spanish coast guards during 1731. Provided the impetus to war
against the Spanish Empire, ostensibly to encourage the Spanish not to
renege on the lucrative Asiento contract (permission to sell slaves in
1739. Marine Commissions were purchased and sold, although they always bore
an inferior value to those of the Army. A perquisite arose to the
Colonels from the disposal of the appointments of second Lieutenants,
when their recommendations were approved of by his Majesty, and such
commissions usually produced to those officers from £250 to £280, while
ensigncies in the line sometimes yielded as much as £400. The great
expense which had accrued in the maintenance of the land forces and
Marines, led to the appointment of a committee of inquiry. In this
investigation it appeared that the Colonel of a Marine Regiment had a
greater emolument than an officer commanding a Regiment of the line,
arising from the comparative superiority in their numbers, and the
articles of clothing being of an inferior quality.
1739. Sunday 4th October. Marines landed on the peninsula of Quiberon, and
took possession of a fort mounting eighteen cannons. After destroying
all the forts and guns, as well as those on the islands of Houat and
Hedic, the army re-embarked, and the expedition sailed for Ireland. In
the gradual increase of the army during the present war, the Marines
became incorporated with the line, and the 44th Regiment was styled the
1739. Tuesday 6th October. A French fleet of merchant men under Commodore
Letendeur sailed from the Isle of Aix for the West Indies, under convoy
of nine ships of the line and several frigates. On the 14th while off
Cape Finisterre, they came upon a British squadron Commanded by Rear
Admiral Hawke, of thirteen ships of the line, including two of fifty
guns. The Commodore, finding it impossible to avoid an action, directed
a sixty gun ship and the frigates to proceed with the convoy, and then
formed his squadron in order of battle. The action commenced at noon,
and was continued until night fall, by which time six sail of the line
ships had surrendered. The Commodore on board HMS Tonnant of 80 guns,
and HMS Intrepid of 74, made their escape. The British had 154 killed,
and 558 wounded. The enemy's loss amounted to 800 killed and wounded.
The order of the Bath was conferred on Rear Admiral Hawke, and the
thanks of Parliament voted to the officers, seamen, and Marines of the
Tuesday 17th November - Sunday 22nd November. Six Marine Regiments (1st
to 6th Marines, 44th to 49th Foot) were raised for the War of Jenkins'
Ear, with four more being raised later. One large Marine Regiment
(Spotswood's Regiment later Gooch's Marines, the 61st Foot) was formed
of American colonists and served alongside British Marines at the
Battle of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia and Guantanamo, Cuba in the War
of Jenkins' Ear (1741). Among its officers was Lawrence Washington, the
half-brother of George Washington. In 1747, the remaining Regiments
were transferred to the Admiralty and then disbanded in 1748. Many of
the disbanded men were offered transportation to Nova Scotia and helped
form the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1739. Saturday 21st November. Vernon's capture of Porto Bello.
1739. Saturday12th December. After the declaration of war with Spain Council
Orders were issued for augmenting the land forces, and also for forming
six Regiments of Marines, each to consist of ten companies of seventy
privates in each company, and to be commanded by 1st Colonel Edward
Wolfe from the 3rd Foot Guards, 2nd Colonel W. Robinson from Handasyd's
22nd Regiment, 3rd Colonel Andrew Lowther from the 2nd Foot Guards,
4th, Colonel John Wynyard, from Tyrrell's Regiment; 5th Colonel Charles
Douglas from Howard's Regiment, 6th Colonel Lucius Ducic Moreton, from
the 3rd Foot Guards. In order to facilitate the speedy formation of
these Corps, and to render them effective, five men from each company
of the Regiments of foot-guards were appointed Sergeants and Corporals,
and further that they might be rapidly completed, a bounty of thirty
shillings per man was allowed to 1800 men who volunteered from the
Regiments of Infantry to the Marine Corps by these energies, the whole
of the Marine Regiments were soon raised and disciplined. On the
prospect of the commencement of hostilities Admiral Vernon had sailed
for Jamaica, where he arrived in October 1739, with a fleet of five
ships, having 200 Marines on board, and proceeded to Porto Bello, the
destined object of his attack, which was at that time the greater part
for the wealthy commerce of Chili and Peru, the attempt was fraught
with many difficulties.
Upon the repetition of Spanish cruelties and aggression towards the
industrious and defenceless subjects of Britain, that the system of
Marine Regiments was renewed. The sword was again drawn upon the 19th
October of that year, and an Order of Council of the 12th December,
determined upon the immediate levy of six of this description. The
Colonels who were nominated to command them was, 1. Edward Wolfe esq.
from the 3rd Foot Guards. 2. William Robinson esq. Lieutenant Colonel
from Handyside's Regiment of Foot. 3. Anthony Lowther esq. from 2nd.
Foot Guards. 4. John Wynyard esq. from Colonel Tyrrel's Regiment of
Foot. 5. Charles Douglas esq. from Colonel Howard's Regiment of Foot.
6. Lewis Ducie Morton esq. from the 3rd Foot Guards.
1740. January. The six Regiments raised in late 1739 received an effective augmentation of 2,640 men.
1740. An additional Regiment, of four Battalions, was authorised to be raised
in America, and the Royal Standard was erected at New York. The field
officers and subalterns were appointed by the King, and the captains of
companies were nominated by the American provinces. Colonel Spotswood
of Virginia, was appointed over all Colonel Commandant. It was believed
that the natives of that continent, knowing the area and climate were
better for service than Europeans. Their uniform was cumblet coats,
brown linen waistcoats, and canvas trousers. This regiment, which was
afterwards commanded by Colonel Gooche, was considered as the
forty-third Regiment of infantry of the line.
1740. February. The town of Carthagena being the capital of an extensive and
wealthy province in Terra Firma in South America was bombarded, and an
attack was made upon a fort situate upon the mouth of a river of that
name a little to the north-west of the Gulf of Darien. The latter
surrendered, after a sharp contest, on Thursday 24th March, when the
castle, situated on a rock, and the custom-house under its protection,
were demolished and burnt to the ground.
1740. Sunday 6th - 9th March. Vernon bombarded Cartagena.
1740. Monday 18th April. HMS Lennox and consorts capture Princesa.
1740. June. Unsuccessful attempt on St. Augustine.
1740. Sunday 18th September. The departure of HMS Anson on voyage of circumnavigation.
1740. October. A large number of ships of war assembled at Spithead under the
Command of Rear Admiral Sir Chalaoner Ogle, along with a large land
force consisting of Harrison’s 15th Regiment. Wentworth’s 24th Regiment
and part of Cavendish’s 34th Regiment was collected in the Isle of
White and held in readiness with six Regiments of Marines to be
embarked for service under the orders of General Lord Cathcart, a
nobleman of approved courage and experience. The fleet with a British
armament consisting of one hundred and seventy ships sailed from St.
Helen’s heading for Jamaica. However, its progress was badly affected
by server bad weather in the Bay of Biscay, the fleet was dispersed.
The greater part of the vessels sort refuge by anchoring at the neutral
island of Dominica, in order to obtain a supply of wood and water.
1740. Friday 16th December - 18th October 1748. The War of the Austrian
Succession involved most of the European countries over the question of
Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg. The
war included King George's War in North America, the War of Jenkins'
Ear, the First Carnatic War in India, and the First and Second Silesian
Wars. It was fought between Britain, Austria and the Dutch Republic
against. France and Germany. The war ended with the Treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle signed in 1748.
1740 - 1748.
The Ten Regiments of Marines uniforms of the day. (taken from 'Britain's
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
Click photo to enlarge
While Commander in chief of the West Indies squadron, Admiral Vernon
ordered his captains and surgeons to make recommendations regarding the
rum issue. The resulting mixture is called grog after the nickname of
the admiral, 'Old Grog'. In 1850 the ration was once again reduced to
1741. January. Admiral Sir Chalaoner Ogle’s fleet eventually arrived in
Jamaica and joined a force under Vice Admiral Vernon who was placed at
the head of the most formidable fleet and army which were employed in
the Caribbean. The fleet now consisted of twenty nine ships of the
line, with nearly an equal number of Frigates, Fire Ships, and Bomb
Ketches, well manned and with a plentifully supply of provisions,
stores. The number of seamen amounted to 15,000. Plus a land force that
included the American Regiment of four battalions belonging to Colonel
Spotswood and a body of Negroes enlisted at Jamaica, making a grand
total of around 12,000 men. The whole force sailed from Irish Bay in
Hispaniola, and anchored on the evening of the Saturday 4th March in
the Grande Playa, to the windward side of the town of Carthagena, the
1741. Thursday 9th March - 16th May. The Battle of Cartagena de Indias in
Colombia. Was an amphibious military engagement between the forces of
Britain under Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon and those of Spain under
Admiral Blas de Lezo. It took place at the city of Cartagena de Indias,
in present day Colombia. The battle was the most significant of the War
of Jenkins' Ear and one of the largest naval campaigns in British
history. The battle resulted in a major defeat for the British Navy and
Army. The battle marked a turning point in South American history, as
Spain preserved her military supremacy in that continent until the
nineteenth century. The defeat caused heavy losses for the British,
that included 50 ships lost, badly damaged or abandoned, and losses of
18,000 soldiers and sailors, mostly due to disease that also took a
heavy toll among the Spanish forces, especially yellow fever.
According to Gillespie the casualties among the officers of the Marine
Regiments at Cartagena amounted to 61, of whom 13 were killed in
action, the remainder dying of wounds or disease. However, he does not
apparently include Colonel Moore, Grant and Daniels, which brings the
total up to 64. Who Colonel Moore was is not clear, unless it means
Colonel Moreton, but Grant and Daniels were successively appointed to
the 5th Marine from Cavendish’s and Harrison’s. No exact details are
forth coming as to the casualties among the rank and file. However, of
six Marines Regiments with an original strength of 1,000 apiece, must
have landed at least landed 5,000 men, and yet only re-embarked 3,382,
of whom 1,103 were sick or wounded, it is evident that they must have
had a very heavy Butchers Bill.
1741. Sunday 9th April. The Repulse at St. Lazar. At 4am in the morning a
body of men consisting of 500 Grenadiers, supported by1,000 European
Marines and Jamaican soldiers march towards the Enemy’s lines by the
Fort St. Lazar, and were followed at considerable distance by a
large body of American, laden with wool packs, scaling ladders, and
hand grenades. The enemy had entrenched themselves breast high under
the walls of the fort, observing their advance, and fired upon them
with great fury as soon as they came within reach of their small arms.
Which was returned by brave Grenadiers with equal smartness, but as the
Spanish had the advantage of cover, it was impossible for the advancing
force to be as accurate. Therefore it was resolved to push forwards up
to the mouths of their pieces and storm their entrenchments, in doing
so they suffered extremely. The assault failed with a loss of 600
casualties. The attack had been planned to help isolate Cartagena from
the land side by an assault of Fort St. Lazar. The assault failed with
a loss of 600 casualties.
18th July. In consequence of the heavy losses sustained by Admiral Sir
Chalaoner Ogle’s fleet at Cartagena, and the mortality which continued
to prevail after the troops returned to Jamaica, it was not until the
beginning of July that the fleet and army were in a condition to renew
their operations. It had always been the objective to proceed against
the Island of Cuba, where they anchored on the 18th July in Waltenham
Bay, about eighteen leagues to windward of St. Jago, the first object
of their intended attack. The troops were landed on the Monday 24th
consisting of nearly 4000 men, including1000 Negroes raised by the
Island of Jamaica. They did not try to establish a foot hold on the
country, although there were several treks to find food and water.
After establishing a position on the side of a river nearly three
leagues from the mouth of the harbour, the General pushed some
detachments into the country, which beat back the out posts of the
enemy, and in a few days returned back to the camp with plentiful
provisions. Eventually the fleet returned to Jamaica. Upon which it was
revealed that they had sustained a total loss of officer amounting to
One Commander in Chief, five Colonels, ten Lieutenant Colonels, seven
Majors, fifty five Captains and one hundred and sixteen Subalterns and
fourteen staff officers. The heavy casualties in the Marine Regiments
are shown when it is stated that these six Regiments consisted of more
than one thousand men each and that only 2654 survived.
1741. December. During 1741 the total loss of Officers, amounted to one Commander in Chief, five Colonels, ten Lieutenant Colonels, seven Majors, fifty five Captains, one hundred and sixteen Subalterns, and fourteen Staff Officers.
Spotswood's Regiment was re-named Gooch's Marines, later becoming
the 61st Foot (a predecessor of the Rifles) was raised from North
1741. HMS Rupert captures four large Privateers.
1741. HMS Superb captured a galleon worth £200,000.
The number of Marine Regiments was augmented to ten, and the sums voted
to maintain them were £201,752 13s 0d. If the same force had been
established before the peace of Utrecht, they would not have exceeded
the estimate of £186,666 Is 8d, as the following indigenise were
granted, and annual allowances made subsequent to that period. For
servants allowed to Officers £7,786 13s 4d. Allowance to the Widows of
Officers £2,433 6s 8d. To Colonels, for clothing lost by deserters
£2,129 3s 4d. To Captains, for recruiting their Companies £1,825 0s 0d.
To Agents of different Regiments £912 10s to £l5,086 13s 4d.
this time the whole Half pay Establishment of Great Britain, including
Horse, Dragoons, Foot, Invalids, and Marines, consisted of only five
hundred and fifty one Officers, and the annual expenditure upon the
whole was £34,492 10s, being at the rate of £94 10s per day, and so
considerate and economical were the public measures, that the House of
Commons addressed his Majesty, praying, that those upon this list, if
fit for service, might be appointed to the first vacant commissions
which occurred in the different Regiment?. But an ill judged parsimony,
as to the number of Officers attached to Corps, seemed also to exist,
and the same spirit was constantly urging the conversion of the Land
(Forces into bodies of Marines. The regulations for this establishment
were nearly similar in their principles to those framed for the line.
The Colonels of Marine Regiments clothed their respective Corps, and
had the liberty of recommending for commissions. Excepting that the
whole battalion was destined for a particular service, none of the
Field Officers were embarked. The greatest number of men on board the
largest ships did not exceed one hundred under a Captain, three
Subalterns, and the smallest was not less than twenty under an Officer.
The Commanders of Marine detachments were enjoined to forward effective
returns of them every two months to the Commissary General of Marines,
attested by the Captains and Pursers of each. This was necessary, in
order to conduct the musters of the Regimental Companies, and to guide
the recruiting service on shore. The same deductions were made from
them as the Army, for clothing and the Chelsea Hospital, whether
embarked or not. When attached to any ship, their indigence’s were
equal to those of the Seamen, as to the receiving provisions without
any deductions from their pay on that account, they had short allowance
money, and the benefit of Naval Hospitals. When sent there, either sick
or wounded, they were deemed effective in the musters ashore, if
producing a certificate from the Surgeon of the Ship to which they
belonged, and another from the Commanding Officer at head-quarters,
when in Great Britain. The Paymaster General of Marines issued the pay,
upon receiving it, to the Colonels of Regiments, or their Agents, and
the Pay master of each settled all their accounts agreeably to the
muster rolls they had from the Commissary General. These muster rolls,
with the receipts of the different Colonels or their Agents, were
esteemed sufficient vouchers for passing the Pay master's accounts, and
for making out warrants or debentures for clearings, which terms shall
undergo a more particular discussion, under the head of Examples. When
brigaded abroad, they were paid exactly in the same manner as the Army,
but the arrears of Marine Officers were much longer withheld, and the
Captains of Companies were exposed to very peculiar hardships, which
will be explained more at length in a subsequent stage of the
narrative. It is enough at present to remark, that the Officers of
these Regiments, when abroad, were often obliged to assign that branch
of their pay, at fifty per cent discount, in order to answer their
temporary exigencies. What a contrast does this sytem present to the
reforms, which have been recently established, in favour of this class
1742. Friday 5th January. Nearly 3000 men that included 2000 Marines arrived in Jamaica to replace the fleet’s losses.
1742. Thursday 12th April. HMS Eltham and HMS Lively engaged three spanish ships.
1742. June. HMS Kingston and consorts destroyed five Spanish ships.
1743. Tuseday 15th January. HMS Sapphire sank two Spanish Privateers and destroyed three.
1743. Monday 18th February. The attack upon La Guira a town in the area of
Catacas was a second attempt by the British trying to capture some of
the Spanish controlled parts of South America, along its east coast.
Captain Knowles lead a squadron that included 1400 of Dalzels 34th
Regiment and 100 Marines. Owing to a heavy swell, the ships could not
approach the shore. Therefore a heavy cannonade bombarded the town took
place and was only ended by the onset of night. Eventually the British
ships were forced to withdraw from the combat. While the town suffered
extremely, with many breaches being made in their fortifications, and a
loss of more than 700 men. The British squadron also suffered
considerable damage to its ships and a loss of around 400 men killed
15th - 16th April. After a refit Captain Knowles ships set sail and
anchored to the east-ward side of the town of Porto Brava. Two ships
commenced a flanking fire and after the shore batteries were silenced,
it was decided to land the troops in order to take possession, and to
turn the guns towards the castle, their retreat being secured by a ship
of war within a pistol shot of the shore. By sunset the ships had
accomplished their objective, and by dusk a force of 1200 sailors,
soldiers, and Dutch volunteers, was disembarked under the command of
Major Lucas. About eleven at night they had gained one of the fascine
batteries but the garrison having been pre-warned and prepared for the
attack managed to push the British back to their boats.
1743. Wednesday 20th March. Unable to restrain her views, France declared war, which was answered by a similar proclamation of the 31st March, on the part of England. Followed by the destruction of many of the French transports and troops at Dunkirk, while at sea they chased their covering fleet from the English coast.
1743. Saturday 20th April. HMS Cenurion took the N.S. de Covadonga worth £4000.000.
1743. April. Knowle's unsuccessful attack on Porto Cavallo.
1743. Friday 23rd August. The occupation of the Island of Rattan.
1743. Wenesday 27th November. The Parliament met and granted a vote of £206,253.-15s. to support an establishment of eleven thousand five hundred and fifty Marines during the ensuing twelve months.
1743. HMS Revenge and the Anne Gallery destroyed the San Yeidro.
1743. During the following three years the strength of the Marine Regiments was maintained at 11,550 men.
men were allotted to each Regiment, and to those who entered
voluntarily were given £4. Along with the power to claim heir discharge
at the end of three years.
1744. Tuseday 11th February. Mathew's engagement off Toulon.
1744. Saturday 22nd February. The third Naval Battle of Toulon took place in
the Mediterranean off the coast of Toulon France. A combined Franco
Spanish fleet fought off Britain's Mediterranean fleet. The French
fleet, not officially at war with Britain, only joined the fighting
late, when it was clear that the greatly out numbered Spanish fleet had
gained the advantage over its foe. With the French intervention, the
British fleet was forced to withdraw. In Britain the battle was
regarded as the most mortifying defeat. The Franco-Spanish fleet
successfully ended the British blockade and inflicted considerably more
damage to the British than they received, causing the British to
withdraw to Minorca in need of heavy repairs.
1744. Thursday 9th - 11th April. Villefranche. Detachments of the 3rd, 4th,
7th and 9th Marines were landed to assist the Sardinians to defend
their lines against the French and Spanish. Detachments were also
landed from the 2nd, 7th, 10th, 29th and the 45th of the line who were
serving as Marines on board the fleet. The detachments of the Royal
Artillery from bomb vessels had been landed some days previously, but
had all been captured during the early hours of the 9th April.
1744. Wednesday 29th April. HMS Dreadnought and HMS Grampus captured the Medle.
1744. Friday 8th May. HMS Northumberland captured by a French Squadron.
1744. Sunday 4th October. The Loss of HMS Victory, along with Admiral Balchen and 1,100 men.
1744. Tuesday 20th October. Eight men- of-war wrecked off Jamaica.
1744. HMS Seaford, HMS Sole Bay and HMS Grampus captured by De Rochambcau.
1744. Parliament granted that the establishment of Marines be increased to 11,550 men.
1745. Two Regiments were formed for service at Cape Breton, by Colonel
William Shirley and Sir William Pepperell, each consisting of ten
companies of 100 men per company. These were numbered the 50th and 58th
Regiments of infantry of the line.
1745. Saturday 20th February. HMS Chester and HMS Sutherland captured the Elephant.
1745. Monday 5th April. Seven years after the last Marine Regiment had been disbanded, it was determined to raise a Marine force on a permanent basis. The order to raise the force was issued. With this in mind, fifty companies of Marines were authorised divided into three divisions based at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. The companies were known as Marine Forces. A Colonel Commandant commanded each division. The main staff officer was the Adjutant General.
1745. Friday 26th March. Admiral Martin captured the Panther and convoy of five sails.
1745. Thursday 22nd April. The Anglesea captured by the Apollen.
1745. Wednesday 19th May. Commodore Warren captured the Vigilante.
1745. Tuesday 1st June. The British Marines and American provincials
succeeded in gaining an entrance into the harbour of Louisburg and they
eventual capitulated, and with it the whole of Cape Breton. The British
loss was about 100 men.
1745. Monday 28th June. The Capitulation of Louisbourg.
1745. Friday 9th July. Action between HMS Lion and the HMS Elizabeth.
1745. Sunday 31st October. Admiral Towsend took a great part of a large French convoy.
1745. HMS Rose captured Concepciogt. (spelling?)
1745. Sunday 19th December. The Clifton Moor Skirmish took place between
forces of the British Hanoverian Government and Jacobite rebels. The
Commander of the British forces, the Duke of Cumberland, was aware of
the Jacobite presence in Derby. The Jacobite leader Prince Charles
Edward Stuart decided to retreat north back towards Scotland.
1745. The men of the battalion companies of infantry ceased to carry swords.
1745. The following was the list and effective strength of the Marine Regiments.
||Number of effective Men
||Wanting to complete
Besides 1,550 Commissioned and Non-commissioned Officers.
At this time, and indeed since their institution in 1739, Commissions
were purchased and sold in the Regiments of Marines, although they
always bore an inferior value to these in Old Corps. A perquisite
frequently arose to the Colonels from the disposal of Second
Lieutenancies, when his Majesty was pleased to accept of their
recommendation. Such usually produced from £250 to £280, while
Ensigncies in the Line sometimes yielded £400.
1746. Wednesday 9th February. HMS Portland captured the Auguste.
1746. Saturday 16th April. The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation
of the Jacobite Rising. The Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart
fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of
Cumberland near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The Hanoverian
victory at Culloden decisively halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow
the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British
throne, Charles Stuart never mounted any further attempts to challenge
Hanoverian power in Great Britain.
1746. Friday 20th May - 3rd September. The Orkney Islands. Captain Benjamin
Moodie sent with a detachment to Orkneys by Admiral Smith. S.N.O. Coast
of Scotland “in search of rebels, and to secure those Islands,
pursuant, to H.R.H. the Duke’s orders.”
1746. Saturday 25th June. Peyton engaged La Bourdonnais in East indies.
1746. Thursday 4th August. HMS Pembroke captured the Ferme.
1746. Tuesday 20th - 30th September. The Expedition against L’Orient. One
hundred Marines landed at Quimperle bay. While the remainder that
included three 3 pounder guns under Colonel Holmes marched with the
rest of the army on to L’Orient. Seamen and Marines afterwards brought
up two 12 pounders and furnace for red hot shot. 7 Marines drown during
1746. Saturday 1st October. HMS Exeter and consorts captured and burnt the Ardent.
1746. Saturday 8th October. HMS Weazel Captured the Feantic anf the Fortune.
1746. Tuseday 11th October. HMS Nottingham captured the Mars.
1746. October. The Distruction of Forts in Quiberon Bay.
1746. Friday 11th November. HMS Portland Captured the Subtile.
1746. Very serious complaints were made of the neglect and delay which had
occurred in the settlement of the accounts of the Marine Corps, and a
committee was appointed to investigate the grievances which had been
represented. The cause of the delay was alleged to arise. In the first
instance from the absence of regular and periodical muster rolls,
according to the practice in Regiments of the regular Army. This
system, it was stated, could not easily be acted upon in the Corps of
Marines, who were employed by detachments in the several ships of war.
However, the investigation produced, the effect of a large balance in
the hands of the Pay Master General being repaid into the Bank of
England, for the benefit of those who were justly entitled to it. The
privations and inconveniences which this meritorious body of troops had
continued to endure for several years, did not affect their loyalty and
steady allegiance, and they still remained the useful Corps, in periods
of emergency, they had always proved in former years.
A Committee was appointed to investigate the state and grievances of
the Land Forces and Marines. A considerable increase of expense had
accrued in the maintenance of both, which was one of the objects of
this inquiry. Such as affected the Marine Regiments already detailed,
and assigned the causes of the additional charges in this establishment
since the peace of Utrecht. The same are applicable to the Army at
large, in the allowance which was made to Commission Officers in lieu
of servants, in 1713, in a similar indulgence granted to the Quarter
masters in marching Regiments in 1718, and the annuities to Officers
Widows, to Colonels for clothing lost by deserters, to Captains for
recruiting, and to the Agents of Corps, which were all the newly
adopted establishments of the latter year. These additional grants,
while they meliorated the situation of the Officer, cost the nation but
little. It appears, in the course of this inquiry, that the perquisites
of a Colonel, in clothing a Marine Regiment, exceeded those of the
Foot, from the comparative superiority in their numbers, and the
articles being of an inferior quality.
1746. The Marines gained the privilege of marching through the City of London
with drums beating, Colours flying, and bayonets fixed, this privilege,
shared with other certain regiments, stems from the formation of the
first Maritime Regiments in 1664 from the Trained Bands of the City of
London (from whom the Marines derive the nickname of Jollies).
1746. For their service nearly 12,000 Marines were included in the parliamentary vote of the military establishment.
1746. HMS Defance captured the Ambuscade.
1746. HMS Namur captured the Mercure.
1746. HMS Albany captured by the Caster.
1746. HMS Seven captured by M. de Conflane
1747. At that time the Marines strength was at 11,160, and the establishment
for each ship fixed at the following numbers. Ships of 100 and of 90
guns, to have 100 Marines, of 80 guns to have 80 Marines, of 70 guns,
to have 70 Marines, of 60 guns to have 60 Marines, of 40 guns to have
50 Marines, of 20 guns 30 Marines, and Sloops to have 20 Marines. It
was proposed that the Marines Regiments should be placed altogether
under the orders of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Although
this arrangement was not finally adopted until the year 1763.
1747. Hannah Snell (1723 - 1792) was a British woman who served in the Royal
Marines as a man. Snell was born in Worcester, married in her late
teens and gave birth to a daughter. While still an infant her daughter
died and her husband absconded, Snell borrowed some men’s clothing and
on Monday 23rd October 1747 enlisted in the Marines using the name
James Gray. In 1748 Snell was deployed to India and later fought in the
battle of Devicotta during June 1749. Where she saw heavy combat and
received twelve wounds, to her arms and legs and one to her groin area.
She either managed to treat her groin wound without revealing her sex
or she may have used the services of a sympathetic local Indian nurse.
Although legend has it that she extracted the ball herself, in order to
prevent her sex being discovered. Snell’s gender concealment is even
more remarkable considering that she was flogged twice during her three
years in the Marines and both times was stripped to the waist. In 1748
Snell was charged with dereliction of duty and publicly whipped in
Carlisle. Snell later told biographers she avoided detection because
her “breasts were but small”. “Her arms were drawn up, the protuberance
of her breasts was inconsiderable and they were hid by her standing
close to the gate upon which she was flogged.” Snell received a second
whipping on board a Royal Navy ship, where she prevented the discovery
of her sex by tying a handkerchief around her neck and spreading it
over her breasts. It’s reported that during this second flogging
Snell’s breasts were spotted by the ship’s bossun, who said “they were
the most like a woman’s he ever saw”. However, he was not concerned
enough to raise the alarm. Although with the use of hind sight this may
have been added to the story at a later date, some somebody wanting to
cash in on the story. On her return to England during 1750 and leaving
the Marines Snell confessed her true gender. She was given an
honourable discharge and, later, a military pension and went on to run
a pub. During 1791 she developed a mental condition and was admitted to
Bethlem Hospital on Saturday 20th August. She passed away on Wednesday
8th February 1792.
1747. An expedition that included 880 Marines, under the command of Admiral
Boscawen attacked French controlled positions in the Indian Ocean. At
Mauritius the French were too well emplaced so the British fleet moved
to the Coromandel coast of India in preparation of laying a siege at
1747. HMS Surprise and HMS Jamaica capture the Superbe.
1747. HMS Enterprise captured the Vestale, worth £15.000.
1747. Rear-Admiral Griffin destroyed the Neptune.
1747. Tuesday 28th of February. His Majesty King George II. directed, that
the several Regiments of Marines, which were then existing, should be
placed under the entire Command of the Lords Commissioners for
executing the office of High Admiral of Great Britain and Ireland.
1747. Wednesday 3th May. Admiral George Anson commanding
14 British ships of the line attacks a French 30 ship convoy commanded by Admiral
de la Jonquière in what became known as the First Battle of Cape Finisterre,
during the War of the Austrian Succession. The British captured 4 ships of the
line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen, in a five hour battle in the Atlantic Ocean
off Cape Finisterre in northwest Spain. However, 1 French frigate, 1 French
East India Company warship and the other merchantmen escaped. The British
suffered 520 killed or wounded. While the French losses were 4 ships of the
line, 4 frigates, 4 corvettes, 6 merchantmen captured, 800 killed or wounded, and 3000
1747. Friday 2nd June. HMS Fortune captured the Charon.
1747. Wednesday 21st June. Sir William Warren destroyed the L'Etoile.
1747. Wednesday 21st June. Captain Fox took 48 sail of a French Convoy.
1747. June. HMS Viper and HMS Hunter burnt 28 sail in Sodiere Bay.
1747. Friday 14th July. HMS Warwick engaged the Glorioso.
1747. Wednesday 13th September. HMS Dover captured the Renommbe.
1747. Tuesday 8th August. An officer and 20 Marines were ordered from
Maidstone to Goudhurst to protect it from a threatened attack by
1747 Tuesday 8th August - October. The Siege of Pondicherry took place in
India against the French East India Company garrison under the Command
of Governor General Joseph François Dupleix at the Indian port of
Pondicherry. It was the last major action of the First Carnatic War.
The siege was lifted with the arrival of the monsoon rains. A sizable
British army and fleet fail to capture the main French stronghold in
1747. Sunday 8th October. HMS Dartmouth blown up in action with the Glorioso.
1747. Monday 9th October. HMS Russell captured off Finisterre.
1747. Saturday 14th October. Rear Admiral Sir Edward Hawkes Victory over
the French off Finisterre (the Second Battle of Cape Finisterre). A British fleet
of fourteen ships of the line intercepted a French convoy protected
by eight French ships of the line commanded by Admiral Desherbiers
de l'Etenduère. The battle took place in the eastern Atlantic, roughly halfway
between Ireland and Cape Finisterre in northwest Spain. It was a
decisive British victory that has been described as ‘the most brilliant naval
action of the war’. It put an end to French naval operations for the
remainder of the war, eliminating any threat of an invasion of Britain and
threatening the very existence of France's empire overseas. The British captured
6 ships of the line, and 7 ships of the convoy, along with 4000 seamen while 800
were killed. Their own losses were 154 killed and 558 wounded.
1747. The fouled anchor,
incorporated into the emblem during 1747, is the badge of the Lord High Admiral and
shows that the Corps is part of the Naval Service.
1747. December. The following is the details of the Field Officers and Agents of each Corps, all of which were quartered in Great Britain, and in the vicinity of the principal sea ports, at the close of the year.
44th Regiment or First Marines.
Colonel George Churchill.
Lieutenant Colonel N. Mitchell.
Major James Macdonald.
J. Winter, Dartmouth-street Westminster, Agent.
45th Regiment or Second Marines.
Colonel Robert Frazer.
Lieutenant Colonel J. Leighton.
Major T. Mathews.
T. Paterson Conduit-street, Agent.
46th Regiment or Third Marines.
C. H. Holmes
Colonel. P. Damar.
Lieutenant Colonel. W. Brown.
Major. T. Fisher.
Privy-gardens, Whitehall, Agent.
47th Regiment or Fourth Marines.
Coronel C. George Byng.
Lieutenant Colonel B. Hutchison.
Major J. Read.
T. Paterson, Conduit-street, Agent.
48th Regiment or Fifth Marines.
Colonel C. James Cochran.
Lieutenant Colonel C. Whiteford.
Major J. Stuart.
Maynard Guering, St. James's-park, Agent.
49th Regiment or Sixth Marines.
Lieutenant Colonel C. Gordon.
Major C. Leighton.
William Adair, Pall-mall, Agent.
50th Regiment or Seventh Marines.
Colonel H. Cornwall.
Lieutenant Colonel J. Paterson.
Major R. Bendish
T. Fisher, Privy-gardens, Whitehall, Agent.
51st Regiment or Eighth Marines.
Colonel J. Duncombe.
Lieutenant Colonel J. Cunningham.
Major J. Brewse.
Maynard Guering, St. James's-park, Agent.
52d Regiment or Ninth Marines.
Colonel C. Pawlett.
Lieutenant Colonel G. Walsh.
Mr. Guering, Agent.
53d Regiment or Tenth Marines.
Colonel Sir Andrew Agnew.
Lieutenant Colonel C. Pawlett.
Major C. Durand.
Mr. Guering, Agent.
These Regiments, when complete, were supposed to consist of one thousand Rank and File each, and every battalion of ten Companies. At this period the whole forces upon the British Establishment amounted to eighty five thousand six hundred and eleven men.
1748. Cape Breton was restored to the French after the peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle was settled. However, it was retaken in 1758 by Admiral
Boscawen and General Sir Jeffery Amherst, and finally given back to
Great Britain at the peace deal of 1763.
1748. Captain Pocock took 25 sail of Martinique.
1748. Unsuccessful attack on Pondicherry.
1748. Wednesday 31st January. HMS Nottingham and HMS Portland captured the Magnanime.
1748. Thursday 7th March. Captain Cotes captured 5 sail of a Spnaish Convoy.
1748. Wedneday 8th May. Admiral Knowles reduced Port Louis.
1748. Tuseday 1st October. Admiral Knowles' Victory off Havana.
1748. Thursday 10th - 12th October. Mutinary and re-capture of HMS Chesterfield.
1748. Friday 18th October. After the signing of the Peace Treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle by Great Britian, France, and the Dutch republic. Two
follow up implementation treaties were also signed at Nice on Wednesday
4th December 1748 and Tuesday 21st January 1749 by Austria, Spain,
Sardinia, Modena, and Genoa. After the signing all ten Marine Regiments
were eventually disbanded.
1749. Friday 12th April. Wreck of Namur and Pembroke.
1750. Up to the 19th century. A Punishment of twelve lashes on board all
naval ships was the maximum authorised for any one offence. However, for two offences the punishment was 24 lashes.
1850. The Rum Ration was once again reduced to half gill.
1754 - 1763. The French and Indian War took place in North American. The war was
fought between the colonies of Britain, America and New France, with
both European sides supported by military units from their parent
countries, as well as their Native American allies. At the start of the
war, the French North American colonies had a population of roughly
60,000 European settlers, compared to 2 million in the British North
American colonies. The war was also part of the world wide Seven Years'
War that saw Great Britain, Hanover, Portugal, and Prussia fighting
against Austria, France, Russia, Sweden, and Spain.
1755. Sunday 8th June. HMS Boscawen took the Alcide and the Lys.
1755. Saturday 5th April. The Marines underwent another name change that of
the Corps of Marines. At that time there were fifty Independent
Companies divided into three Marine Divisions. With their headquartered
at the major naval bases of Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. An
arrangement that became permanent for the Corps. This is also the first
date of Marine Commissions not being purchased, and of the officers
rising in regular rotation only. On its establishment, the Corps
consisted of 3 Lieutenant Colonels, 3 Majors, 50 Captains, 50 first
Lieutenants, and 100 second Lieutenants, who were taken from the line
and former Marine Regiments. The field officers were, Major Generals
Patterson and Drury, and Colonel Gordon, to be Lieutenant Colonels, and
Lieutenant Colonel Bendyshe, with Majors Leighton and Burleigh, to be
Majors. The intercourse by exchange to the army was open to the
officers of Marines, and in the course of a few years twelve of the
first appointed Captains returned to the line, eight of whom were
Lieutenant Colonels, and four of them were Majors. Amongst that number
were Sir Robert Abercrombie, Alexander Leslie, William Picton, Henry
Orame, Charles Grey, and John Johnstone.
1755. Whenever the Marines serve with the army, they took precedence in seniority after the 49th Regiment of Foot. The Marine seniority is only calculated from its formation in 1755, and not by any previous service of the disbanded Marine Regiments.
1755. Friday 14th November. The Espirance was captured by the Orford.
1755. His Majesty's Marine Forces raised. The oldest predecessor to which the Royal Marines can trace a direct lineage.
1755. Plymouth (Uniform). Coats ordered to be worn always hooked up and white
stockings to be worn by both Officers and men. The former when under
arms were to wear Stiff topped buff coloured gloves.
1755. HMS Mars lost off Halifax.
1755. HMS Blandford taken by the Duguay-Trouin.
1755 - 1770.
The Marines uniform of the day. (Taken from 'Britain's
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
Click photo to enlarge
1756. The Marines strength grew to 9,138 men, adding thirty companies to the establishment of the previous year.
1756. Thursday 12th February. Watson and Pocock took Geriah.
1756. HMS Warwick taken by a French Squadron off Marinique.
1756. Saturday 8th May – Monday 28th June. The Defence of Port St. Phillip.
Minorca. A French force under the Command of the Duke de Richelieu
landed on the island and besieged the British garrison at St. Philip's
Castle manned by 110 Officers and Marines, forcing them to surrender
after a lengthy siege. A British relief force under the Command of
Admiral John Byng sailed with the purpose of saving the island, but
after the naval Battle of Minorca Byng withdrew to Gibraltar, and the
resistance of the garrison finally collapsed. Byng was later blamed for
the loss of Minorca, and executed by firing squad.
1756. Monday 17th May. HMS Colchester and HMS Lyme engaged the Aquilon and the Fidle.
1756. HMS Dunkirk destroyed Forts at Chausey.
1756. HMS Tartar took the Cerf, Grand Guidom, heros, and the Rose.
1756. HMS Dispatch engaged the Prince de Soubiser
1756. HMS Adventure captured by a French privateer.
1756. Thursady 20th May. Byng's action of Minorca with La gullissoniere.
1756. Fortunatus Wright in the St. George with a xebec.(?)
1756. Thursday 20th May. The following order was given that no man was to
appear in the streets with his hat flapped, and that the
Sergeants and Corporals of each Company to take care that the men all
1756. Thursday 20th May. Chatham (Uniform). Orders were given that No man was
to appear in the streets with his hat Flapped, and that the Sergeants
and Corporal of each Company were to take care that the men all keep
their hats well cocked. Probably because the cloth Fusilier caps were
not allowed to be worn when walking out.
1756. Monday 12th July. HMS Litchfield and HMS Warwick captured the Arc en Ciel.
1756. Tuseday 27th July. Holmes action off Louisbourg with De beauzier.
1756. Friday 3rd December. Plymouth (Uniform).Corporals ordered to wear Shoulder Knots.
1756. Thursday 23rd - 28th December. HMS Terrible, HMS Alexander and Vengrance.
1756. Autigallican captured the Due de Penthicure.
1756. Tuseday 28th December. Watson at Calcutta captured Forts.
1757. January. HMS Tartar captured the Mont Ozier.
1757. Sunday 2nd January. Watson at Calcutar.
1757. February. HMS Tartar captured the Vicloire.
1757. Friday 4th March. Chatham (Uniform). The complement of necessaries of
each man of the Division is three shirts, two pair of shoes, and three
pairs of stockings.
1757. Monday 14th March. Byng evaculated.
1757. Friday 18th March. HMS Greenwich taken by a French Squadron off Domingo.
1757. Wednesday 23rd March. Watson at Chandernagore.
1757. Wednesday 30th March. Chatham (Uniform). The Officers are to observe
the length of the mens shirts to be to the top of the knee pan.
1757. May. HMS Tartar took the Pentlope.
1757. Monday 25th July. HMS Southamton engaged five French Privateers.
1757. Thursday 22nd September. HMS Southampton captured the Emeraude.
1757. Friday 23rd September. Knowles attacked the Isle of Aix.
1757. Saturday 24th September. HMS Tilbury lost off Louisbourg.
The Raid on the port of Rochefort (some times referred to as the Descent on Rochefort) was a
British amphibious attempt to capture the French Atlantic port. An
important but second rate military and naval base essential for the
efficiency of Brest. The raid pioneered a new tactic of ‘descents’ on
the French coast, championed by William Pitt 1st Earl of Chatham. Pitt
is best known as the wartime political leader of Britain during the
Seven Years War. Especially for his single minded devotion to victory
over France, a victory which ultimately solidified Britain's dominance
over world affairs. Although viewed as a failure positive lessons were
learned about ‘desents’, notably by Wolfe, who two years later captured
Quebec. Desents, refer to climbing of rocks and cliffs.
1757. Friday 21st October. HMS Forrest engaged De Kersaint off Cape Francois.
1757. October. HMS Tartar took the Gramont.
1757. Wednesday 23rd November. HMS Hassar and HMS Dolphin destroyed the Alcvon.
1757. November. HMS Tartar captured the Milampe.
1757. Friday 16th December. HMS Augusta captured nine armed merchantmen.
1757. Twenty companies were added to the Corps, making 110 companies, and the total number of men established at 11,419.
1757. The alleged scalping of British Soldiers by the Rebels (America).
General Amherst forwarded the following intimidation to Montcalm the
Governor of Canada: “No scouting party or others in the Army are to
scalp women and children belonging to the enemy. They are, if possible
to take them prisoners, but not to injure them on any account. The
General being determined, should the enemy continue to murder and scalp
women and children, who are the subjects of the King of Great Britain,
to revenge it by death of two men of the enemy for every woman or child
murdered by them. C. V. F. Townsend 7th Fusiliers and formally of the
R.M.L.I. reports that: “Warfare in this part of the world between the
English and French was carried on in a revolting cruel and bloody
manner, but the French were the worst offenders. Scalps were taken even
by regular soldiers on both sides following the example of their Indian
allies.” The Canadians threw in their lot with the French, sending in
men and supplies, and scalping without mercy all the English stragglers
who fell into their hands. General Wolf sent a letter to Montcalm to
stop this, but he either could not, or would not, because it continued.
Therefore Wolf was obliged to retaliate, and accordingly the following
order was issued to the troops: “The General strictly forbids the
inhuman practice of scalping, except when the enemy are Indians, or
Canadians dressed like Indians.
1757. HMS Unicorn took Invincible and Comtesse de Nosailles.
1757. HMS Unicorn took the Hermione.
1757. HMS Chichester took the Bien Acquis.
1757. HMS Eagle and HMS Medway took the Due d' Aquitaine.
1757. HMS Antelope destroyed the Aquilon.
1757. HMS Happy took the Infernal.
1757. HMS Defiance captured the Prlvst de Paris.(?)
1757. HMS Ambuscade captured the Vainqueur.
1757. HMS Experiment captured the Telemagne.
1757. HMS Fortune captured a French ship.
1758. Sunday 1st January. HMS Adventure captured the Machault.
1758. Sunday 8th January. HMS Hussar captured the Vengeance.
1758. Sunday 19th February. HMS Invincible lost on the Owers.
1758. Tuesday 28th February. HMS Revenge captured the Orphce.(?)
1758. Tuesday 28th February. HMS Monmouth captured the Foudroyant.
1758. Tuesday 28th February. HMS Monarque and HMS Monmouth destroyed the Oriflmme.
1758. Wednesday 5th April. Hawke at Isle of Aix.
1758. HMS Essex and HMS Pluto capture the Galathle.
1758. Thursday 13th April. The burning of HMS Prince George.
1758. HMS St, Albans and HMS Favorite took Loire.
1758. HMS Monmouth and HMS Lyme destroyed the Rose.
1758. The Boreas took the Diane.
1758. Friday 28th April. HMS Triton and HMS Bridgewater were destroyed by a French Squadon.
1758. Saturday 29th April. Pocock and D'Ache in the East Indies.
1758. Tuesday 2nd May. The Capture of Fort Louis in Senegal. A small British
squadron under the Command of Captain Henry Marsh sailed from Plymouth,
despatched against the French settlements in West Africa. On Sunday
30th April Marsh landed 700 Marines, and a detachment of 25
Artillerymen with 10 guns and 8 mortars under Captain Walker to attack
Fort Louis. A French deputation soon surrendered the fort which was
garrisoned by 232 French officers and soldiers. However, the actual
handing over of the Fort was delayed, owing to the action of the local
natives, who, not thinking that their interests had been sufficiently
secured, blockaded the French. The expedition is reported to have cost
roughly a million pounds.
1758. Friday 26th May. HMS Dolphin and HMS Solebay with Marechal de Belleisle.
1758. Monday 26th May. HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Achilles captured the Raisonnable.
1758. Tuesday 6th June. Howe at St. Malo
1758. Sunday 25th June - 26th July. The Siege of Louisburg was a pivotal
Battle of the ‘Seven Years War that ended the French colonial era in
Canada and led directly to the loss of Quebec in 1759. On Sunday 25th
June 500 Marines landed and took up a position at Kennington Cove.
1758. Thursday 29th June. HMS Renown captured the Guirlande.
1758. Sunday 2nd July. 100 Marines sent ashore to join General Wolfe’s Army.
5th July. General Orders. As soon as it is dark the Highlanders are to
draw the 2 Light 6 pounders and place them in a battery prepare for
them upon the right redan. One of the Artillery and some Marines are to
serve those two pieces, and their ammunition is to be deposited the
redan The Colhorn Mortars are not to play any more at the
shipping, but the 5 Royals may be employed a day or two in the
redoubt constructed by Anstruthers and Marines. The Marines are to do
their duty with the Corps of Artillery, by that means they will be able
to keep their own batteries in constant repair.
1758. Saturday 15th July. A Sergeant of Marines was taken prisoner by the
Light Infantry, he was some distance from his post without arms.
1758. Tuesday 25th July. The Prudente was set on fire and the Bienfuissant towed off to the North East Harbour by the boats of the fleet which
carried about 450 seamen and Marines, commanded by Captains
Laforey and Balfour, boarded the ships without opposition from them,
but from the town, who, having the services, fired Grape and Musketry,
did not kill above seven and wounded as many. The Prudente being on
ground they were obliged to set fire to her, eleven officers, mostly
Marines and about 122 sailors out of the two were made prisoners.
1758. Thursday 3rd August. Pocock and D'Ache togther in their second action.
1758. Monday 7th August - Wednesday 16th August. A raid on Cherbourg took
place during the ’Seven Years War’ during which a British force was
landed on the coast of France by the Royal Navy with the intention of
attacking the town of Cherbourg as part of the British government's
policy of ‘Descents’ on the French Coast.
1758. Tuseday 15th August. Howe destroyed the Cherbourg.
1758. Saturday 2nd September. HMS Shrewsbury destroyed the Calypso.
1758. Wednesday 27th September. Disaster at St. Malo.
1758. Monday 2nd October. HMS Lizard captured the Due d' Hanovre.
1758. HMS Torbay captured the Rostan.
1758. Tuesday 31st October. HMS Antelope captured the Belliqucnxr. (?)
1758. Friday 3rd November. Buckingham and Floristssant.
1758. Wednesday 24th November. Plymouth (Uniform). Brown linen Spatterdashes ordered for the Guard.
1758. Tuesday 28th November. HMS Lichfield was lost.
1758. Tuesday 12th December - 16th February 1759. The Siege and Defence of
Madras was part of the ‘Third Carnatic War’ against the French. The
British garrison was able to hold out until it was relieved. The
British are reported to have fired 26,554 cannon balls and more than
200,000 cartridge rounds in defence of the town. The failure to take
Madras was a huge disappointment for the French and a big setback to
their campaign in India. The French also lost 1200 men.
1758. Wednesday 20th December. The Capture of Goree.
1758. The Corps was further increased to 140 companies, amounting to 14,845 men.
1758. A Battalion of 24 Officers, 1 Surgeon 21 Drummers and 540 Marines left Plymouth to assist in the Capture of Quebec in Canada.
1758 - 1761. The ‘Anglo Cherokee War’ was a conflict between British forces in North
America and Cherokee Indian tribes during the French and Indian War.
The British and the Cherokee had been allies at the start of the war,
but each party had suspected the other of betrayals. Tensions between
British American settlers and the Cherokee increased during the 1750s,
culminating in open hostilities during 1758.
1759. Monday 22nd January - May. The Capture of Guadalupe from the French. It
was part of the ‘Seven Years War’. A large British force had arrived in
the West Indies, intending to seize French possessions. After a
six-month long battle to capture Guadeloupe they finally received the
formal surrender of the island, just days before a large French relief
force arrived under Admiral Maximin de Bompart.
1759. Wednesday 21st February. HMS Vestal took the Bellone.
1759. Monday 19th March. Aiolus took Mignone.
1759. Thursday 27th March. HMS Winsor took the Due de Chartres.
1759. Friday 28th March. HMS Southampton and HMS Milampe captured the Danal.
1759. Wednesday 4th April. HMS Achilles captured the St. Florentine.
1759. Wednesday 15th April. HMS Favorite captured the Valeur.
1759. Tuseday 1st May. The Capture of Guadaloupe.
1759. Friday 18th May. HMS Thames and HMS Venus took the Arithuse.
1759. June - September. Sanders at Quebec.
1759. Wednesday 1st August. The Battle of Minden in North Germany. Anglo
Hanoverian forces under the Command of Ferdinand of Brunswick defeat
the French army lead by Duc de Broglie, but due to the disobedience of
the English cavalry Commander Lord George Sackville, the French were
able to withdraw unmolested.
1759. Monday 13th August. HMS Crescent took the Berkeley.
1759. HMS Dreadnought took the Hermione.
Saturday 18th August - Sunday 19th August 1759. A Naval Battle off
Lagos between Britain and France took place, during the ‘Seven Years
War’ off the coasts of Spain and Portugal, and is named after Lagos in
Portugal. It ended in a victory for the British led by Sir Edward
Boscawens While the he French lost 2 ships of the line that were
destroyed and a further 3 were captured.
1759. Saturday 18th August. Boscawen and De la Clue.
1759. Sunday 2nd September. Pocock and D'Ache, third action.
1759. Thursday 13th September. The Capture of Quebec from the French. The
British lead by General James Wolfe (1727 - 1759) achieved a dramatic
victory when they scaled the cliffs overlooking the city of Quebec,
defeating the French forces under the command of Louis Joseph de
Montcalm. During the battle, which lasted less than an hour, Wolfe was
fatally wounded. Montcalm was also wounded and died the next day.
However, Wolfes Victory ensured British supremacy in Canada. During the
operations the Marines were encamped at Point Levi on the south side of
the St. Lawrence, but on the 26th July, two companies of them were sent
over to General Wolf’s camp, at Montmorenci, as a reinforcement. Later
600 men of the Marines and Major Hardy’s Corps were sent over to defend
the Island of Orleans in the middle of the river between Montmorenci
and Point Levi. Some of those must have been sent from the ships as the
Battalion was only 540 strong, or was entirely a ships battalion.
When the real attack on Quebec took place the line of battle ships
which lay in the river below Quebec made a demonstration in front of
the French lines to the north east of the city in order to divert
attention from the landing at Sillery to the west of Quebec. They stood
in as close to the shore as the depth of the water would allow. They
then lowered the boats and filled them with Marines to deceive the
enemy into expecting a landing at this point. The British lost 58
killed and 600 wounded. While the French had 116 killed and the same as
the British 600 wounded. It’s also worth noting that Wolf used what was
known in those days as ‘Descents’ to approach the city from what was
thought to be impregnatable cliffs. Something he had witnessed a few
years earlier while a junior Officer at the Raid on Rochefort.
1759. Tuesday 20th November. The Battle of Quibecon Bay of the Coast of
France near St. Nazaire. The British Admiral Sir Edward Hawke along
with 24 ships of the line caught up with a French fleet with 21 ships
of the line under the Command of Marshal de Conflans and, after some
hard fighting, sank, captured, or forced aground six of them and
dispersed the rest, giving the Royal Navy one of its greatest Victories
1759. Friday 28th December. The Battle and Capture of Goree in West Africa.
After having made a short stay at Santa Cruz, in the Canary Isles, a
British squadron led by Augustus Keppel approached Goree, and at 3:00
pm anchored in about 18 fathoms of water just outside the bay. The
transports containing the troops were sent into the bay between Point
Goree and Point Barrabas. Early on 29th December the troops were
disembarked in to boats in readiness to land on the island upon a
signal being made by the Commodore. Most of the ships gradually took up
their assigned positions to the west or leeward side of Goree and
moored head and stern under a heavy fire: At 9:00 am, the attack was
begun by the HMS Prince Edward. However, the cannonade was not general
until about noon, while some of the vessels experiencing difficulty in
taking up their stations. The bombardment was then rapidly effective.
In a few hours, the British ships silenced the French batteries and
created havoc within the garrison. At nightfall, M. de Saint Jean
surrendered the fortress and the island. Keppel landed his Marines to
take possession. The garrison consisting of about 300 men, many of them
Africans became prisoners of war. 110 guns and mortars were captured,
while British losses were very low.
1760. Friday 4th January – 15 January 1761. The Siege and Capture of
Pondicherry, part of the ’Third Carnatic War’. British land and naval
forces besieged and eventually compelled the French forces defending
the French colonial outpost of Pondicherry to surrender. 422 Marines
1760. Wednesday 6th January. 422 Marines along with other Europeans and
Native Troops finally Captured Pondicherry the largest French strong
hold in India.
1760. Friday 15th February. The loss of HMS Ramillies.
1760. Thursday 28th February. Elliot and Thurot off the Isle of Man.
1760. Friday 28th March. HMS Penguin taken by the Malicieus and the Opale.
1760. Saturday 5th April. The Capture of Carical in the East Indies, involving Major Manson and 300 Marines.
1760. Friday 16th May. Swanton at Quebec.
1790. Destruction of Pontone and the Atalante.
1760. The loss of HMS Lowestoft.
1760. The Marines strength was 18,355 men, being more than one fourth of the
naval force. In consequence of a representation from the Commandants of
divisions, that more field officers were required for the better
discipline of the service, three naval Captains were appointed Colonels
of Marines, with forty shillings per day, and the only Marine Colonel
General Patterson, was placed on retirement with £700 per annum, thus
banishing all hopes of higher preferment than the rank of Lieutenant
Colonel. This arrangement created such dissatisfaction in the Corps
that a memorial, expressive of their deep sense of the injustice, in
placing officers over them so perfectly incapable to command troops in
the field, or conducting the details of military discipline on shore,
was presented to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. In addition
to this humiliating measure, the circumscribed establishment on the
peace of 1763 produced so much discontent, that many officers, seeing
their prospects thus destroyed, quit the Marines and entered the army,
where some rose to a higher rank.
1760. Friday 4th July. Fire at Portsmouth Dockyard.
1760. Tuesday 8th July. HMS Byron in the Bay of Chaleur.
1760. Monday 8th September. The Capture of Montreal or the Fall of Montreal
as it’s sometimes known, took place when the British occupied Montreal
the largest remaining centre of French Canada effectively completing
their Conquest of Canada. Under the overall direction of Jeffrey
Amherst British forces converged on the settlement from three separate
directions closing in on the outnumbered French garrison. The French
military commander Francis de Gaston, Chevalier de Levis was resolved
to make a last stand at Montreal despite the apparently overwhelming
odds. However, he was over ruled by Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis
de Vaudreuil Cavagnal the French civilian Governor who persuaded Levis
to surrender. Levis tried to negotiate a surrender with the Honours of
War. Although the British refused to accept it, and the French were
forced to make an unconditional surrender. As they had at Quebec, the
British offered generous terms in regard to the French Canadians which
were later to become enshrined by law in the Proclamation of 1763 and
the Quebec Act.
1760. Thursday 16th october. HMS Borcas captured the Sirine.
1760. Saturday 18th October. HMS Lively captured the Valeur.
1760. December. The loss of HMS Cumberland.
1761. Thursday 1st January. The loss of HMS Newcastle and HMS Queenborough in the East Indies.
1761. Thursday 8th January. HMS Unicorn captured the Vestale (re-named HMS Flora)
1761. Wednesday 14th January. The Capture of Pondicherry.
1761. Friday 23rd January. HMS Richmond captured the Felicite.
1761. Friday 23rd January. Minerva took Warwick.
1761. Friday 30th January. HMS Venus and HMS Juno captured the Brune.
1761. Tuseday 10th February. The Mahe surrendered.
1761. Friday 13th March. HMS Vengeance captured the Entreprenant.
1761. Wednesday 1st April. HMS Isis captured the Oriflamme.
1761. Tuseday 7th April - Monday 8th June. Marines were involved in an
amphibious expedition to capture the French controlled Belle lsle off
the Brittany Coast, during the ‘Seven Years War’. After an initial
British attack was repulsed, a second attempt lead by General Studholme
Hodgson forced a beach head. A second landing was made, and after a
six week siege the island's main citadel at Le Palais was stormed,
consolidating British control over the island. A French relief effort
from the nearby mainland was unable to succeed because of British
control of the sea. Later the Marines were allowed the honour of
featuring a ‘Laurel Wreath’ around their Badge.
1761. Tuseday 7th April - Monday 8th June. Among the surgeons attending the
military wounded and dying at the Battle of Belle lsle was the soon to
be famous John Hunter who made several medical discoveries including
the treatment of battle shock by not attempting any treatment until the
victim had been allowed some time to recover. He also attempted to
instigate a system of non-treatment for minor bullet and shrapnel
injuries and so laid the foundations for modern day treatments for such
trauma injuries. Mentioned in 'Brother Surgeons' by Garet Rogers and
'The Knife Man' by Wendy Moore.
1761. Thursday 4th June. The Capture of Dominica.
1761. Friday 5th June. Holmes captured St. Anne.
1761. Monday 8th June. After more than a month's siege of Le Palais, Sainte
Croix acknowledged he was unlikely to receive any rescue and he agreed
to capitulate. Sainte Croix was allowed, through the British lines, to
march his men out through the breach with the honours of war. His men
were then repatriated to nearby Lorient. The British occupied the
island for two years before returning it to France during 1763
following the Treaty of Paris.
1761. Monday 15th June. Chatham (Uniform). Captain Davidson, First Lieutenant
Davis and 2nd Lieutenant Davidson to appear in their uniform Fuzees,
Sashes, Corselets and Boots. The rest of the Officers in their Uniforms
with White Stockings.
1761. July. Parker destroyed fortifications at Aix.
1761. Thursday 16th July. HMS Thunderer and HMS Thetis took Achelle and Bouffon.
1761. Friday 7th August. Lord Anson in Royal Charlotte yacht hoisted the Unicn flag.
1761. Thursday 13th August. HMS Bellona captured the Coutageux.
1761. Tuesday 20th October. According to the Annual Register. A young woman
dressed in men’s clothes was impressed at Plymouth, and sent to Captain
Toby in the town. On arrival she was committed to Prison, but not
liking confinement, she disclosed her sex and was discharged. She gives
the following account of herself. “That her name was Hanna Witney that
she was born in Ireland, had been on board different ships upwards of
five years, and would not have disclosed herself is she had been
allowed her liberty.
1761. HMS Albany captured the Faisan.
1761. HMS Blonde took a large French ship.
1761. The coppering of ships bottoms was first introducrd.
1761. The Loss of Faisan (re-named Pheasant), along with all hands.
1762. Wednesday 6th January. HMS Venus captured the Boulogne.
1762. Tuesday 16th February. The Capture of the Redoubts on Morne Tortenson
(Port Royal) Martinique, from the French. Britain captured the island
during the ‘Seven Years War’, holding it from 1762 to 1763. The Marines
of the expedition had previously landed and with the aid of a few
seamen captured a fort at Grand Ance, and held it till relieved by a
Line Battalion, landing again with the rest of the Army in Cas de
Navires Bay. The Marines formed in two battalions of 450 men each, took
part in three days of fighting which resulted in the capture of the
Redoubts, on Morne Tortenson, Mone Garnier, and the attack on the
Citadel of Port Royal. On the fall of this place the Marines of the
fleet, with 500 seamen were landed, and the whole Island of Martinique
submitted to the British Crown.
Following Britain's Victory in
the war there was a strong possibility the island would be annexed by
them. However, the sugar trade made the island so valuable to the Royal
French Government that at the Treaty of Paris signed during 1763, which
ended the ‘Seven Years War’, they gave up all of Canada in order to
regain Martinique as well as the neighbouring island of Guadeloupe.
1762. Tuesday 7th March. HMS Milford captured the Gloire.
1762. May. The loss of HMS Hussar.
1762. Friday 21st May. HMS Active and HMS Favorite capture the Hermoine Spanish treasure ship was
taken off Cadiz by the 28 gun frigate and 18 gun sloop Favourite. The
ships net proceeds of its cargo were valued at £519,705 -1s - 6d, the
prize to each Private Marine amounted to £484.
1762. Wednesday 2nd June. HMS Alarm and HMS Echo took the Thitis and the Phenix.
1762. Monday 7th June - 13th August. The Siege and Capture of Havana was a
military action that took place during the ‘Seven Years War’. When
British forces besieged and captured the city. At the time it was an
important Spanish naval base in the Caribbean. Its capture dealt a
serious blow to the Spanish navy located in that area. Havana was
subsequently returned to Spain under the 1763 Treaty of Paris that
ended the war between them. The Marines were placed in the boats and
made to look like they were going to land 4 miles to the westward of
the city, while the remainder of the army effected its disembarkation
without opposition between The Rivers Boca Nao and Coximar some way to
the East. Being checked at the latter river by a castle at its mouth,
the army halted while the Dragon stood in and silence its guns in about
an hour, after which her Marines went on shore and took possession of
it. On the evening of the 10th the Marines were in the boats again
while the Belleisle, Cerberus, Bonetta, Mercury, and Lurcher bombarded
the castle of Chorea at the entrance to the river of the name on the
East side of the city. The Castle and adjoining batteries were taken on
the 11th, and some of the Marines landed for its security.
this time the Marines who were about 800 strong, and were formed into
two Battalions and placed under the Command of Majors Campbell and
Collins. On the 15th June they were landed and encamped near Chorea
under the command of Colonel the Hon. William Howe. The main attack was
directed against the Morro Castle, the Citadel of Havannah which
occupied a high and steep rock on the East side of the entrance to the
harbour. For a long time it defied all the effort of the besiegers
while disease decimated the ranks. On the 5th and 6th July it was found
necessary to draw on the Marines for reinforcements, and during these
two days 400 of them were transferred in the front of Morro. A portion
of them were employed in the mining operations which were very
difficult to carry out on account of an immense ditch cut in the solid
rock,80 feet deep and 40 wide. However, on the 20th July the miners
totally uncovered and managed to cross the ditch by a narrow ridge of
rock which had been left to cover it towards the sea, and soon buried
themselves in the wall. On the 30th the mines were sprung, breaching
the wall and partially filling in the ditch, and the British stormers
soon made themselves masters of the Citadel. Its fall was very shortly
followed by that of Havannah itself, and the Marines, who it is
reported, had proved very serviceable, were re-embarked. Much booty
fell to the victors including a great deal of gold and silver pieces
which arrival in London was conducted to the Tower in Eleven wagons,
each guarded by 4 Marines and surmounted by a Union Jack flying above a
Spanish Ensign. Each Private soldier’s prize money amounted to £4 1s.
8d. while the total amount was valued at £368 11s. 6d.
1762. Saturday 24th July. The loss of HMS Chesterfield.
1762. Friday 13th August. Havana capitulated.
1762. Wednesday 1st September. HMS Lion captured the Zephyre.
1762. Sunday 2nd September. Aeolus destroyed the St. Joseph.
1762. Wednesday 15th September. The Battle of Signal Hill was the last battle
of the North American theatre of the ‘Seven Years War’. The British
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William Amherst forced the French to
surrender St. John's, which they had seized earlier that year in a
surprise attack. During 1762 France and Britain had been fighting for
eight years, and both were now contemplating a peace agreement.
Britain's long blockade of the French coast had forced the French
economy into a decline and had prevented the French navy from going to
the aid of France's colonies around the globe, leading to a large
number being captured.
1762. September. Dianna and Chester with Dutch frigate
1762. The Corps strength at that time was 19,061 men.
1762. Tuseday 5th October. The Capture Manila in the Philippines from the
Spanish. A small Military expedition under the Command of Colonel Sir
William Draper was transported in a squadron under Admiral Cornish that
anchored in Malilla Bay on the 23rd September. The Admiral contributed
500 seamen and 270 (some say 300) Marines to the landing force. After
sending in an ineffectual summons to the town, and reconnoitring the
coast, no time was lost in commencing operations. The ideal spot, was
located two miles to the south of Manilla. It having been pre-selected
for the debarkation of the 79th Regiment of Marines and the Artillery
.Along with a howitzer and a few fields’ pieces that were placed in the
boats which were formed in 3 divisions, under the sterns of 3 frigates
which had been detailed to cover the landing. A numbers of Spanish
Indians had assembled on the shores to dispute our landing, the men of
war opened fire, which compelled them to retire. In spite of a violent
surf which dashed many of the boats to pieces, and wet and damaged the
muskets, the troops effected their landing. During the night of the
24th they succeeded in establishing themselves in a village called
Malata, little more than a mile from the enemy’s works. The day
following they pushed forward to occupy Fort Polverista which had been
abandoned by the enemy. While Major Monsoon along with the Marines
advanced and took possession of the Hermita Church which was close to
the city and of considerable strategical importance. Moreover the rainy
season having set in, it was necessary to get under protective cover.
This point was further reinforced by the 79th Regiment. The Marines
garrisoned Forts Polverista and that at Malata which protected the line
of communications with the squadron and to guard the stores and heavy
Artillery. The Port of Cavite with other dependencies of Manilla were
included in the Capitulation, and Captain Champion with 100 Marines and
a party of Sepoys were sent as garrison to the former. The total loss
was 4 Officers, 2 Sergeant and 25 Privates killed, 1 Lieutenant
drowned. 6 Officers, 3 Sergeants and 102 Rank and file were wounded.
Among the first were 5 Marines, while Lieutenant Spearing and 6 Private
Marines were wounded during these operations. Captain Richard Bishop of
the Marines distinguished himself by his bravery and professionalism
that Sir William Draper appointed him Governor of the Town of Cavite.
1762. Saturday 23rd October. The Brune took the Oiscau.
1762. Sunday 31st October. The Panther and Argo took the Saintissima Trinidada.
1762. Jane Mace was another lady who attempted to enlist for a Marine.
However, she was not as fortunate as Hannah Snell in evading discovery
of her sex. Its reported that a lady wearing men’s clothes went to a
recruiting party at the ‘Plume and Feathers’ public house and enlisted,
she wanted the whole bounty money in hand, but being in want of
clothing and other necessaries, they would give her only one shilling
till morning, but had a few more drinks and they all ended up in bed.
Awaking the next morning she was seen without wearing top clothes. Her
correct name was Jane Meace and was well known in the area.
1762. Terpsichore took the Marquise de Marigny.
1762. The loss of HMS Raisonnable.
1762. The loss of HMS Temple and HMS Marlborough.
1762. Forvey took the Ventura.
1763. Saturday 26th March. Lord Hood was appointed Commander of the Chatham division of Marines.
1763. Colonels of Marines received forty shillings per day.
1763. By this time all of France’s allies in Europe had either made a
separate peace deal with Prussia or had been defeated. In addition,
Spanish attempts to aid France in the Americas had failed, and France
also suffered defeats against British forces in India.
1763. Because of the peace the establishment the Marines were reduce to a force of 4,287 men.
1764. Tuseday 3rd July. HMS Dolphin and HMS Tamar sailed on a voyage of Distcovery.
1764. Tuesday 23rd October. The Battle of Buxar was fought between the forces
under the command of the British East India Company led by Hector
Munro, and the combined army of Mir Qasim the Nawab of Bengal: the
Nawab of Awadh and the Mughal King Shah Alam II. The battle took place
within the territory of Bengal, and the town of Buxar was located on
the banks of the river Ganges, about 130km west of Patna. The British
troops engaged in the fighting numbered 7,072 comprising of 857
British, 5,297 Indian Sepoys and 918 Indian Cavalry, and 30 cannons.
The alliance army's numbers were estimated to be over 40,000men and 140
cannons. It was a decisive victory for the British East India Company
that had a casualty list of 1,847 killed or wounded, while the enemy
had 10,000 killed or wounded and 6,000 captured and taken prisoner.
1764. Monday 29th October. Plymouth (Uniform). Officers ordered to have
Uniform Frocks lapelled with White Cloth with a Deaths Head Button.
Waistcoats White with Plain Buttons. Frocks to have a stand up Cape
(Collar). Breeches to be of leather and Hats plain with Gilt Buttons
and Double Gold Loop. Officers were to agree on a Shoulder Knot.
1764. November. The Nabobs were defeated at Cutwa (Katwa) in West Bengal India.
1764. A Board of General Officers recommended that the Grenadiers should lay
aside their swords, as that weapon had never been used during the
‘Seven Years War’. Since that period the arms of the infantry soldier
have been limited to the musket and bayonet.
1765. Friday 5th April. The Marines underwent another name change and their
roll within the navy. Their new title was changed to His Majesty's
Marine Forces and they became the Marine Infantry for the Royal Navy.
The Corps was finally established as an integral part of the Royal
Naval. After which the Marine force consisted of fifty companies that
were split into three Divisions. Each division's headquarters were
based in Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth, all under the Admiralty's
control. In which they took part in many landings and battles all over
1765. Thursday 29th August. Plymouth (Uniform). At an inspection by the Duke
of Gloucester, Officers were ordered to wear their Laced Uniforms,
Coats, Waistcoat and Hat, White Breeches and Boots. The men to have on
Spatter-dashes and their Caps, Tops perfectly clean and well dressed.
1766 - 1769. The First Anglo Mysore War was fought in India between the Sultanate of Mysore and the British East India Company.
1766. Wednesday 9th July. HMS Dolphin and HMS Tamar returned from trip around the world.
1766. Sunday 20th July. Plymouth (Uniform). The men were ordered to wear White Stockings and Short Spatterdash tops.
1766. August. HMS Dolphin and HMS Swallow on a voyage of discovery.
1767. Twenty companies were added to the Corps, making 110 companies, and the total number of established at 11,419 men.
1767. Monday 12th January. The Royal Marines Band was formed at Plymouth (3rd Grand Division).
1767. Monday 25th May. Plymouth (Uniforms). The Officers to make Uniform Frocks with White Lapels, and
Cuffs, the White of the lapels to be each a full three inches depth.
The Cuff to be close and round, with four buttons and four button
holes. The same number of holes to be on the Pocket of the Coat and
Waistcoat. On the hip and Side Plates four Buttons. A White turned down
Collar, the waistcoat and Breeches White Cloth. The lining of the Coat
and waistcoat, White Shaloon. A plain double gilt Button of the same
pattern as may be seen at the Adjutants Office. Each officer’s Coat of
the Battalion to have a Gold Fringe Epaulet on the right shoulder and
the Grenadier Officers to have one on each shoulder.
1768. The Corps was further increased to 140 companies, amounting to 14,845 men.
1768. May. HMS Dolphin returned from voyage of discovery.
1768. Friday 3rd June. Plymouth (Uniform). Officers ordered to wear their
Frocks with Skirts turned back, short Spatterdashes and hair queued.
The men to wear White Breeches and Short Spatterdashes, their New Hats
and their hair plaited and turned inside their Hats.
11th June. The Band was ordered to wear white breeches and stockings
with black buckled garters at Guard Mounting. The first dated reference
to a Marine Band at Portsmouth (The 2nd Grand Division) although it is
believed that a band was formed there in 1765.
1768. July. HMS Endeavour sailed on a voyage of discovery.
1768. Friday 26th August. Captain Cook and his ship HMS Endeavour left
Plymouth carrying 94 men and 18 months of provisions. Cook had been
chosen to lead an expedition to the South Seas to observe the Transit
of Venus and to secretly search for the unknown Great Southern
Continent (terra Australis incognita 1768 – 1771). HMS Endeavour travelled via Madeira (September), Rio de Janiero (November-December)
and Tierra del Fuego (January 1769) to Tahiti.
The Marine detatchment joined HMS Endeavour at Plymouth Tuesday16th August 1768.
1769. Friday 17th March. Chatham (Uniform). No Military compliments to be
paid by the Marine Guards or Centinels when on duty to any officer of
the Land Force or Marines, unless such officers are dressed in Scarlet
with swords, nor to any officers of H.M. Fleet unless they are dressed
in Blue with swords.
1769. March. HMS Swallow returnd from a voyage of discovery.
1769. Monday 15th May. Plymouth (Uniform). Officers ordered to wear their
White Coats without and lace or embroidery, Hats with New Pattern Lace
two Epaulets with no distinctions of rank. Gorgets when ordered
1769. June. A French ship made to Salute in the Downs.
1769. Tuesday 12th September. Plymouth (Uniform). Officers to get New Uniform Gorgets (Silver).
1769. Sunday 1st October. Plymouth (Uniform). Men to wear Red Breeches and Long Spatterdashes to mount a Guard in.
1770. The afternoon of Sunday 29th April. A small detachment of 13 Marines
landed with Captain Cook at Botany Bay in New South Wales Australia.
There have always been stories that spoke of a Marine being first out
of the boat as it beached, to hold it steady. However, it was Isaac
Smith, who became the first European to set foot on Eastern Australian
soil. As the ship's boat touched the shore, Cook is reputed to have
said "Jump out, Isaac". Isaac Smith was a very young man at the time, but a
month later on Wednesday 23rd May 1770, he was promoted to midshipman
following James Magra's suspension on suspicion of having assaulted
Captain Cook's clerk.
1770. July. Fire at portsmouth Dockyard.
1770. While in the Americas, affairs of a very serious aspect caught the
attention of the British government to the disturbed state of her
American colonies, in consequence of a real or pretended right on the
part of Great Britain to impose internal taxes. The stamp act was so
exceedingly unpopular, that its repeal was absolutely necessary to
appease the people, and the tax on tea imported into America was so
obnoxious, that every means of opposition was resorted to help get it
1770. October. Ships laden with tea having arrived at Boston, New York,
Philadelphia, Charlestown, and Rhode Island, conveying altogether 2200
chests, the people assembled at different places to concert measures
that would prevent the importation, and to compel the consignees, at
the risk of their lives and property, to relinquish their employments.
In these assemblies, resolutions were passed derogatory to the
legislative power of Great Britain, and on the Wednesday18th December a
number of armed men, under the disguise of Mohawk Indians, boarded the
ships, and threw their valuable cargoes into the sea, but at New York
the tea was landed under the protection of the men of war.
1770 - 1780.
The Marines uniform of the day. (Taken from 'Britain's
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
Click photo to enlarge
1771. Thursday 7th of March, his Majesty sent a message to Parliament
requiring immediate measures for securing the execution of the laws,
and just dependence of the colonies upon the crown of Great Britain.
The Minister at the same time introduced a bill to take away from
Boston the privilege of a party as a punishment for their refractory
conduct, reinforcements were sent there, and General Gage was appointed
governor of the colony. This restriction on of the inhabitants of
Boston raised a spirit of rebellion throughout the continent of
America, all were agreed in resisting the collection of any internal
tax not imposed by their own assemblies, and to suspend all commercial
intercourse with the mother country until their grievances were fully
redressed. Deputies were soon afterwards appointed from each province
to attend a general congress at Philadelphia, which assembled on
Tuesday 6th September, 1774. Among their first resolutions was to
acknowledged their dependence, but insisted on their privileges,
consenting to those acts of the British legislature which regulated
their external commerce, yet insisting, that according to the English
constitution, the people had a right to participate in their
legislative council, and as the colonies, from various causes, could
not be represented in the British Parliament. They were entitled to a
free and exclusive legislation in their respective provincial
assemblies, in all cases of taxation and internal policy. They
recommended to the several provinces the establishment of a national
militia, and to raise money for paying those who should bravely hazard
their lives in defence of the privileges of America.
1771. When Colonels of Marines were appointed Commandants of divisions the
Marines discharged from the service obtained the right of following
their trade in any town in the kingdom, except the universities. The
Earl of Sandwich succeeded to the office of first Lord of the
Admiralty, and his ready attention to the memorials of the Marines, by
reviving their hopes of promotion, and restored that spirit of
discipline which characterised the battalions sent by his Lordship to
1771. Monday 13th May. Plymouth (Uniform). Grenadiers hats to have no lace
but to be cocked with white looping with two white tassels on the right
1771. Friday 7th June. Plymouth (Uniform). Officers to wear their coats
hooked back, to have black gaiters, white stocks or cravats, and their
1772. Wednesday 11th March. Plymouth (Uniform). Waist belts are ordered to be altered to cross belts.
1772. Sunday 5th April. HMS Resolution and HMS Adventure sailed on a voyage of discovery.
17th May. Plymouth (Uniform). Surgeons are ordered to wear red coats
with a red cape (Collar), and lapels, Marine uniform buttons, white
waistcoats, white breeches, with black buckled garters, when on duty,
uniform hats and swords.
1772. Saturday 30th May. Plymouth (Uniform). Officers to wear their coats
long waisted with short shirts in the present Military Fashion, white
stocks and black ribbands round the neck, their hair queued, hats laced
and cocked smartly with silver cord, band and Tassels. Their garters
are to be made of black satin, three quarters of an inch wide, and
lined with white linen.
July – 1775. HMS Resolution Commanded by Captain Cook, and HMS
Adventure Commanded by Lieutenant Furneaux, set sail from Britain,
via Madiera (July - August) and Cape Town, South Africa (October -
November), towards the Antarctic in search of the Great Southern
The Marine detachment that joined HMS Resolution
| Edgcumbe. John
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Sheerness 29th May 1772
||Joined Plymouth 9th July 1772
||Joined Plymouth 9th July 1772
The Marine detachment that joined HMS Adventure
| Mollineux. John
||2/Lt. Promoted 11th June 1772.
||Joined 7th July from HMS Resolution
1773. Wednesday 12th May. Chatham (Uniform). Officers on joining Quarters who
lately are or shall be appointed to this Division may know the proper
uniform they are to appear in upon Guard and in the Field of Exercise
on General Field Days, the Comg. Officer finds it necessary to insert
the following Mode of Dress which he expects every Officer will
Uniform Coat, White Waistecoats and Breeches,
Silver Laced Hat with Silver Band and Loopings, Black Stock, Black Silk
Buckle Garters, Sash Gorget, Uniform Sword and Knot. Half Gaiters
except when long ones are particularly ordered. Shoulder Sword Belt
with Clasp. Belt and Pouch to be worn over the Coat same as Private
men. Battalion Officers Hair queued. Grenadiers and Light Infantry
platted and tucked.
1773. Wednesday 2nd June. George III. reviewed the Fleet at Portsmouth.
1773. HMS Racehorse and HMS Carcass sailed for the North Pole.
1774. During the latter part of the year the Americans were making great
preparations for resistance; and they scrupled not to declare their
intention of attacking Boston when the ice on the river became strong
enough to bear their weight, but as it did not freeze hard enough
during the winter, they postponed their plans until the spring of 1775.
To prevent being taken by surprise, the neck of land which leads into
Boston from Roxbury, was carefully fortified by the British and Admiral
Graves, by placing the Somerset in the ferry way between the two towns.
This overawed the inhabitants of Charlestown, and prevented any attack
from that side. The fleet under Vice Admiral Graves consisted of four
sail of the line and a great many smaller vessels, which was greatly
dispersed, but so disposed as to afford all the protection possible to
his Majesty's loyal subjects in the colonies.
1775 to 1783. The American Revolutionary War was an armed conflict between Great
Britain and thirteen of its former North American colonies, which had
declared themselves the Independent United States of America. Early
fighting took place primarily on the North American continent. However,
in 1778 France was eager for revenge after its defeat against the
British in 1763, and signed an alliance with the United States of
America. The conflict quickly escalated into a much larger war with
Britain combating France, Spain, and the Netherlands.
1775. Wednesday 8th February. Plymouth (Uniform). Officers of the Battalion
ordered to America are instructed to provide themselves with Long
leather Gaiters with Hessian tops. The men who are going are to have
long Black Gaiters with buttons, and also short ones. They are to have
Knapsacks and a Manchester Velvet Stock with Buckle for the Grenadiers
and a Clasp for the rest.
Wednesday 5th April. The Marines underwent another name change and roll
within the navy. Their new title was changed to 'His Majesty's Marine
Forces' and they became the Marine Infantry for the Royal Navy. The
Corps was finally established as an integral part of the Royal Naval. After
which the Marine force consisted of fifty companies that were split
into three Divisions. Each division's headquarters were based in
Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth, all under the Admiralty's control. In
which they took part in many landings all over the world.
1775. Per Mare Per Terram (‘By
Sea, By Land’), the motto of the Marines, is believed to have been used for the
first time during 1775.
1775. Wednesday 19th April. Major Pitcairn orders his Marines to advance
toward Concord to seize the rebel held town. While passing through
Lexington an officer unwisely fired towards the local militia. In the
skirmish that followed eight militia men were killed in what were to be
the first shots fired of the American war of Independence. While
advancing further towards Concord more skirmishes took place that
forced Major Pitcairn to return to Boston, after many of his force
expended their issue of 36 rounds of ammunition. They had suffered 73
dead and over 200 wounded. Later their numbers where increased with the
arrival of a Brigade of three Regiments of Marines who had marched 30
miles in under ten hours.
Saturday 20th May. The following is an extract from the Marine
Battalion orders of the: "The Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners
of the Admiralty, having directed a reinforcement of Marines to serve
under Major Pitcairne in General Gage's Army, consisting of 2 Majors,
10 Captains, 27 Subalterns, 2 Adjutants, 1 Surgeon, 2
assistant-Surgeons, 28 Sergeants, 25 Corporals, 20 Drummers, 600
Privates. The Commanding Officer deems it necessary, for the good of
the service, to form the whole under his command into two battalions:
|Officers off 1st Battalion
||Officers of 2nd Battilion
|Thomas Avare Capt..
|William Finney. 1st Lieut.
|George Vevers. 1st Lieut.
|Stawel Chudleigh. Capt.
||Hon. John Maitland. Capt.
|Richard Shea.1st Lieut.
||Jesse Adair. 1st Lieut.
| ?? Hewes. 1st Lieut.
||Roland Carter. 1st Lieut.
|Stephen Ellis. Capt.
||Charles Chandless. Capt.
|James Robertson. 1st Lieut.
||Fenton Griffiths, 1st Lieut.
|P. D. Robertson. 2nd Lieut.
||Henry D'Oyley. 2nd Lieut.
|Thomas Lindsay. Capt.
||Thomas Groves. Capt.
|William Lycett.1st Lieut.
||John Hadden. 1st Lieut.
|David Collins. 2nd Lieut.
||Titus Conyers. 1st Lieut.
|William Forster. Capt.
||Samuel Davys. Capt.
|William Graham. 1st Lieut.
||Walter Nugent. 1st Lieut.
|Isaac Potter. 2nd Lieut.
||Robert Carey. 2nd Lieut.
|Robert Ross. Capt.
||Edward Henvill. Capt.
|Charles Steward. 1st Lieut.
||Thomas Biggs. 1st Lieut.
|Jonas Mathews. 1st Lieut.
||James Lewis. 2nd Lieut.
|William Sabine. Capt.
||George Elliott. Capt.
|B. M'Donald. 2nd Lieut.
||Alex. M'Donald. 1st Lieut.
|Henry Tantum. 2nd Lieut.
||John France. 1st Lieut.
|J. H. Branson. Capt.
||Archer Walker. Capt.
|William Creswell. 1st Lieut.
||James Anderson. 1st Lieut.
|Thomas Trollope. 2nd Lieut.
||Robert Moore. 2nd Lieut.
|John Perceval. Capt.
||John M'Fie. Capt.
|Aaron Eustace. 1st Lieut.
||SirJ.Dalston. 1st Lieut.
|Thos. Woodcock. 2nd Lieut.
||Francis Dogherty. 1st Lieut.
|W. Souter. Capt.
||Archibald Campbell. Capt.
|William Pitcairne. 1st Lieut.
||John Dyer. 2nd Lieut.
|Philip Howe. 2nd Lieut.
||N. H. Nicholas. 2nd Lieut.
|John Waller. 1st Lieut.
||John Fielding. 1st. Lieut.
|J. Pitcairne. 1st Lieut.
||Thomas Smith. 1st Lieut.
Captain David Johnston, Superintendent, Adjutant, and Deputy Paymaster to the 2nd Battalion.
?? Hill, Surgeon to the 2nd Battalion; William Tervant and ?? Silven, surgeon's mates.
The following regulations for the payment of companies were notified in
the battalion orders of Saturday 3rd June: "The Right Honourable the
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having directed, by their letter
to Major Pitcairne of the 2nd March last, that the Captain of Marines
commanding companies on shore at Boston should pay their companies in
the same manner as practised by the land forces, the Captains or
Commanding Officers of companies will receive from Captain Johnstone,
Deputy Paymaster, one month's subsistence for the non-commissioned
officers and private men of their respective companies, deducting 1s -
51/2p. per week each for provisions and the usual stoppages, as
directed by the Admiralty:
For one Sergeant, 2 pence per week
For one Corporal or Drummer 1 and a half pence per week.
For one Private 1 pence per week.
Captains are to give the Deputy Paymaster complete monthly pay rolls,
accounting for the subsistence distributed to their companies, and
specifying every particular casualty that has happened in each company
during the preceding month, and to commence this day.”
1775. May. The Boston garrison was cut off by the American Rebels. However,
their numbers were boosted upon the arrival of a further 750 Marines.
Finally their numbers were considered strong enough to advance on to
Bunkers Hill and face the rebels who were camped there and ready to
meet them head on. Major Pitcairn’s plan was to clear the hill and to
then move on to the harbour.
1775. Saturday 17th June. The start of the Battle of Bunker Hill. The battle
took place on the Charlestown Peninsula on the North side of Boston
Harbour. During which the Marines and Sailors took to the ship's small
boats to repel attackers who were also using their own small boats
against the Royal Navy ships that were taking part in a closed blockade
and had become becalmed. While on land other battles were taking place.
Major John Pitcairn led a force of 300 Marines that included drummers. While advancing they
crossed another line of Infantry, who were being pushed back by heavy
fire. Waving his sword Pitcairn is reported to have told them to
"Break, and let the Marines through". He then urged his men forward
with the words "Now for the glory of the Marines". He was then hit by
enemy fire and fell wounded into the arms of his son William Pitcairn.
He later died from heavy blood lost, aged 52. A contemporary report
said, 'The reputation of the Marines was never more nobly sustained.
Their unshaken steadiness was conspicuous and their valour in closing
with the enemy when part of the attacking column wavered gained them
not only the admiration of their comrades but the commendation of their
distinguished chief. The Battle of Bunker Hill rates very highly
amongst the Marines major battle honours. Although commonly referred to
as the battle of Bunker Hill, some of the fighting took place on the
nearby Breed’s Hill. The British suffered around 1,150 killed and
wounded while the American casualties were estimated at only 450 killed
and wounded. A Silver medal was presented to Captain Ewing of the
Marines after being wounded during the battle. The American War of
Independence was to continue until 1783.
1775. Tuesday 19th December. Boston (Uniform). The Captains to receive the
Arm, Clothing and Accoutrements of their effectives, the clothing to be
fitted by Company’s agreeable to the Pattern, but no part of it to be
worn till the whole are furnished when an order will be given for that
purpose, a Pattern Hat will be fixed upon from one of those already
cocked, and each Battalion will find Proper persons to cock the rest,
as nearly like as possible. No man to be brought to the Parade or Guard
that has not got his Hat Laced, and Band, Black Stock and Leggings.
Black Garters are ordered for the Men of duty, and Captains are
recommended to see their men’s hair properly cut and their Hats cleaned
with Spruce Beer.
1775 - 1782. The First Anglo-Maratha War was the first of three fought between the British East India Company and Maratha Empire in India.
help put down the rebellious American colonies a Battalion of Marines
commanded by Major Pitcairn was dispatched to Boston, where the
infamous Tea Party incident had taken place, two years earlier.
1775. Fighting also broke out in India between the British East India Company and the French allied Kingdom of Mysore.
1775. The loss of the Pomona and the Ferret.
1775. The capture of the Bolton by American privateers.
1775. The loss of the Savage.
1776. Monday 1st January. Liverpool and consorts burnt Norfolk Virginia.
1776. Saturday 6th April. HMS Glasgow engaged American Squadron.
1776. Wednesday 17th April. Halifax (Uniform).The O.C. desires the Captains
will take care to have the Arms, Accoutrements and Appointments of
their men, in perfect order on Tuesday next, as the General intend to
see both Battalions on that day. When it’s expected that every man will
have a Clean Shirt with a Frill to it, a good Black Stock, and a pair
of half Gaiters. The Pouches to be slung and polished as soon as
1776. Sunday 21st April. Halifax (Uniform). The Officers of the 1st battalion
to wear White Roses in their Gorgets and to provide themselves with
them immediately. They are like wise to wear their hair (when under
arms or on Duty) in a short Club.
1776. May. The loss of Actacon (?)
1776. May. The Bombardment of Charleston.
Friday 12th July. The voyage of HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery.
Captain Cook set sail in a repaired HMS Resolution along with HMS
Discovery Commanded by Charles Clerke, in search of the ‘North West
Passage’. On the way to Cape Town South Africa HMS Resolution stopped
at Tenerife to top up on supplies, eventually arriving on the 17th
October. Immediately upon arrival HMS Resolution had it re-caulked
because it had been leaking badly, especially through the main deck.
Mean time HMS Discovery had been delayed in London, and did not
follow Cook until 1st August. When HMS Discovery finally arrived on
10th November she was also found to be in need of re-caulking. The
HMS Discovery was the smallest of Cook’s ships and was manned by a crew
of sixty-nine. The two ships were repaired and restocked with a large
number of livestock. They then sailed in company on 1st December
and on 13th December located and named the Prince Edward Islands.
Twelve days later Cook found the Kerguelen Islands which he failed to
find on his second voyage. Driven by strong westerly winds they reached
Van Diemen's Land on 26th January 1777.
The Marine detachment on HMS Resolution
||Chatham Division 12 June 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Plymouth Division 9th July 1776
||Joined 11th July 1776
The Marine detachment on HMS Discovery
||Corporal 23rd Sept on death of Harrison.G
|| Joined at Plymouth 12 July 1776.
||Joined at Plymouth 24 July 1776.
||Joined at Plymouth 29 July 1776.
||Joined at Plymouth 29 July 1776.
27th August. Long Island. In this action 1 Officer and 20 Marine
Grenadiers were captured from having mistaken the blue uniforms of the
Americans for those of the Hessians. There were 2 battalions of Marines
totalling 1172 men in General Howe’s Army at New York at the time.
1776. September. The Bombardment of New York.
1776. Friday 11th October. Action on lake Champlain.
1776. Friday 6th December. Fire in portsmouth Dockyard.
1776. HMS Repulse lost with all hands off Bermuda.
Corps Strength at that time was 10,129 men. It included six
field-officers with their companies, three Lieutenant Colonels and
three Majors, but on the formation of the expedition for Botany Bay,
whilst four companies were added, those of the field officers remained
reduced. On the retirement of Lord Howe, the Earl of Chatham became
first Lord of the Admiralty, and in consequence of the presentation of
a memorial from the three divisions the field-officers and their
companies were restored.
Martha’s Vineyard. Taken from Beatson’s M. & N. Memoires: “The
Diamond, Captained Fielding, having been driven by the weather into
Martha’s Vineyard, sent a boat ashore under a flag of truce. The
inhabitants suffered the boat to come within gun shot, and then fired
upon her and one man was wounded. To punish this treachery the
Diamond’s Marines were landed, and at once attacked and routed a party
of the enemy, though strongly posted on a hill and sheltered by rocks
and bushes, from behind which they kept up a brisk fire. One Marine was
killed and one wounded, while the rebels lost 4 killed and many
wounded. The Marines then set fire to their houses and barns and
brought off as many oxen, sheep and poultry as they could.”
Pattern 1776 infantry rifle was designed. One thousand are made and
issued to British soldiers fighting in the War of American Independence.
From very early times 'Press Gangs' had functioned in order to provide
seamen. It was an Admiralty rule, founded upon the believe, that every
British male subject was eligible to be pressed into service. However,
the principal raids by press gangs were usually on experienced
seafarers, particularly those serving aboard merchant vessels. There is
little doubt that pressing for the naval service was legal provided the
press gangs held a warrant issued in the county and was accompanied by
a commissioned officer. There was also lawful protection documents that
barred press gangs from taking the person. These were of short tenure
and only for necessary skilled craftsmen, men with connections. It’s
interesting to note that to this day it has never been repealed.
Click photo to enlarge
1777. Sunday 18th May. Beaver took Oliver Cromwell.
1777. July. Fox taken by Hancock and Boston.
1777. Monday 18th August. The Rainbow took the Hancock.
1777. Tuesday 19th August. The Flora took the Fox.
1777. Tuesday 4th September. The Druid was attacked by an American frigate.
1777. Monday 22nd September. The Albert took the Lexington.
1777. Wednesday 22nd October. The Augusta and the Merlin blown up.
1777. Friday 26th September. The Capture of Philadelphia. The two Marine
Grenadier Companies present with the rest of the Grenadiers belonging
to the Army. During the advance on the city the US rebel frigate
Delaware ran aground and was taken possession of by a company of
Marines under command of Captain Avarne.
1777. Corps strength at that time was 11,829 men.
1778. Monday 9th March. The Ariadine and the Cores took the Alfred.
1778. Friday 24th April. King George visited Chatham and Sheerness.
1778. Thursday 7th May. The Capture of Borden town and the destruction of
rebel shipping. Carried out by the Marine Light Infantry under command
of Major Hon. John Maitland of the Marines.
1778. Wednesday 17th June. The Milford took the Licorue.
1778. Thursday 18th June. The Foudreyant and consorts captured the Pallas.
1778. Wednesday 8th July. The Lively taken by French Squadron.
1778. Wednesday 8th July. The Ostrich took a French privateer.
1778. Monday 27th July. Keppel and d'Orvilliers off Brest.
1778. Wednesday 29th July. HMS Kingfisher was captured by a French Squadron.
1778. Sunday 9th August. Lord Howe and d'Estaing off Rhode Island.
1778. Monday 10th August. The Siege of Pondicherry was the first military
action on the Indian subcontinent following the declaration of war
between Great Britain and France in the American War of Independence. A
British force besieged the French controlled port of Puducherry, which
capitulated after ten weeks of siege.
1778. Sunday 16th August. The Lois engaged the Cesar.
1778. Sunday 16th August. The Vernon and Tranjolly off Coromandel Coast.
1778. Friday 21st August. Pondicherry captured by the Vernon.
1778. Sunday 23rd August. Sartine taken by a British Squadron.
1778. Tuesday 20th October. Jupiter and Medea engaged a french ship.
1778. Wednesday 4th November. Maidstone took Lion.
1778. Tuesday 15th December. Barrington and d'Estaing at St. lucia.
1778. Corps Strength at that time 17,389 men.
1778. The Fox was taken by the Junon.
1778. The Helena was taken by the Sensible.
1778. The Arehusa engaged the Belle Poule.
1778. The Zephyr was captured by a french frigate.
1779. (Uniform). It seems that Silver Lace replaced the Gold Lace for the
Officer from 1769, since New Lace is refereed to and Silver Gorgets at
the same time. The Lace and Gorgets were always the same colour.
1779. Monday 4th January. Savannah capitulated to the British.
1779. Saturday 30th January. Weazel taken by the Bondeute.
1779. The loss of HMS Arethusa.
1779. Sunday 14th February. The death of Captain Cook (7th November 1728 -
14th February 1779) took place at Kealakakau Bay Hawaii. During his
third voyage of exploration in the pacific. He had just landed with a
Marine guard consisting of Lieutenant Molesworth Phillips along with
four men. The Lieutenant protected Cook for as long as he could from
hostile Hawaiians. The Marines were clubbed to death, and Cook was
stabbed as he called to the boats crews to hold their fire. Only
Phillips escaped back to the safety of the ship.
1779. Sunday 28th February. Apollo took Oiteau.
1779. Monday 21st June. Spain declared War on Great Britain.
1779. Sunday 7th March. HMS Yarmouth destroyed the Randolph.
1779. Sunday 14th March. Rattlesnake took the Fenelon.
1779. Tuseday 6th July. Byron and d'Estaing,
1779. July. The start of the Great Siege of Gibraltar (the fourteenth and
last military siege). This was an action by French and Spanish forces
to retake control of Gibraltar from the established British Garrison.
The garrison, led by George Augustus Eliott, later 1st Baron Heathfield
of Gibraltar, survived all attacks and a blockade of supplies.
1779. Sunday 15th August. The French and Spanish fleets off Plymouth.
1779. Monday 16th August. HMS Ardent was captured by the French and Spanish fleets off Plymouth.
1779. Monday 30th August. Boreas took Compas.
1779. September. HMS Experiment taken by French fleet.
1779. Tuesday 14th September. HMS Pearl took the Santa Monica.
1779. Tuesday 21st September. HMS Suffolk and squadron took the Fortunie.
1779. Thursday 23rd September. The Serapis taken by Bon Homme Richard.
1779. Thursday 23rd September. The Countess of Scarborough taken by the Pallas.
1779. Wednesday 6th October. Quebec and Surveillante.
1779. Saturday 9th October. The Defence of Savannah. Seamen and Marines were
landed from the men of war present to assist in the defence against the
French and Americans. The latter were attached to the Grenadier Company
of the 60th Regiment, and occupied a position on the right of the line
of entrenchments. The final assault on the works by the French had
almost succeeded, but had been checked by the fire of the seamen’s
guns. The Marines, with the Grenadiers of the 60th, made such a furious
counter attack on a redoubt which had been taken by the enemy that they
were driven out in an instant and a general offensive being assumed by
the garrison, the enemy’s attack totally failed and shortly afterwards
they abandoned the siege.
1779. Saturday 17th October. The storming of Fort Omoa, was a short siege and
battle between British and Spanish forces just after Spain had entered
the American Revolutionary War on the American side. Following a brief
attempt at a siege, a force of 150 British soldiers and seamen
assaulted and captured the fortifications at San Fernando de Omoa in
the Captaincy General of Guatemala (Honduras) on the Gulf of Honduras.
The British forces managed to overwhelm and capture the Spanish
garrison, consisting of 365 men. The British only held the fort until
November. After which they withdrew from the garrison, being badly
affected by tropical diseases that reduced their numbers, and was also
under threat of a strong Spanish counter-attack.
consisting of detachments of Loyal Irish, Marines from the HMS Charon,
HMS Pomona, HMS Lowestoft and HMS Porcupine Frigates, and 250 armed slaves,
500 men in all commanded by Captain Dalrymple sailed from Truxillo Bay
on the Sunday 10th October, arriving at Porto Cavallo Bay on the 11th.
During the evening the troops were landed with the intention of
attacking Port Omoa that night. However, the roads proved so intricate
and rugged that they did not arrive until after day break. After a
short halt they again moved forward, but still had to encounter passes
and defiles similar to those which had obstructed their night march.
While having to contend Skirmishes with local Indians as they advanced.
Learning from some prisoners that the enemy were drawn up in a position
ready to resist their attack. It was arranged that the Marines and the
Loyal Irish should over take the column, and then advance rapidly
supported by the reserve. The order was instantly carried out, and the
Spaniards, after discharging their muskets fled, some headed for the
fort, while others took to the woods, and the town. From the heights
upon which the troops now stood there was a full view of the fort,
situated about half a mile from the Port Omoa at the bottom of the
hill. The enemy were constantly firing from the town. Captain Dalrymple
carried out his orders to destroying the place. While it was in flames
the squadron came into the bay and endeavoured to get into position to
batter the fort, the land forces seconding their efforts, but the
latter were unable to effect very much owing to the scaling ladders not
arriving in time. HMS Lowestoft went aground and both she and
HMS Charon suffered severely from the enemy’s fire. However, it was
determined to continue the attack, and at 3 in the morning of the 20th
the storming party consisting of 150 strong was in position for the
assault. It was arranged in four parallel columns, four guides at the
head of each, two of the columns consisting of seamen and two of
Marines with a few Loyal Irish. Upon an agreed signal from HMS Charon that she was under way, and would attack in twenty minutes. The columns
of assault moved off covered by the fire of the shipping. It was now 4
am. The Spaniards did not observe the columns movement but concentrated
their fire upon the squadron and the guns which had been placed in a
battery on the hills. In profound silence, with trailed arms, the
English approached the enemy’s sentries undiscovered, but suddenly
their drums beat to arms. Their ladders being quickly planted against
the wall, 28 feet high, surmounted by a battery of 5 guns, the seamen
rapidly ascended, and being reinforced by Marines, the Spaniards fled
to the casemates, while about a hundred escaped by a Sallyport, The
Governor and the officers then delivered up their swords to Captain
Dalrymple, and the garrison, along with the ships in port, surrendered.
1779. Sunday 24th October. Proserpine took Alcuiene. (?)
1779. Thursday 11th November. HMS Tartar took Santa Marguritta.
1779. Sunday 21st November. HMS Hussar took N.S. del Buen Confegio.
1779. Sunday 12th December. Salisbury took San Carlos.
1779. Saturday 18th December. Parker and de la Motte off Fort royal.
1779. HMS Glasgow burnt.
1779. HMS Ariel taken by the Amazone.
1779. Ruby, Aeolus and Jamaica took Prudente.
1779. Corps Strength at that time 18,779 men.
1780 to 1784. The ‘Forth Anglo Dutch War’ was a conflict between Great Britain and
the Dutch Republic. The conflict was related to the American
Revolutionary War, and broke out over British and Dutch disagreements
on the legality and conduct of the Dutch trading with Britain's enemies
during that war.
1780 to 1784. A conflict between the Kingdom of Mysore in India and the British East
India Company. Mysore’s main ally was France, who at that time was at
war with the British.
1780. Corps Strength was 146 Companies each of 118 Privates and 4 Drummers. Approximately 584 Drummers in the Corps.
1780. Sunday 2nd January. Captain Fielding exacted the right of search from Couat Bylandt.
1780. Sunday 16th January. The Marines were involved in the Battle of St
Vincent against the Spanish off the southern coast of Portugal. A
British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney commanding 18 ships of
the line defeated a Spanish squadron of 11 Ships Commanded by Don Juan
de Lángara. The Spanish, who were at war with the British because they
had chosen to back the American rebels in the War for Independence. The
British suffer 32 killed and 102 wounded, while the Spanish suffered 1
ship destroyed, 4 ships captured and 2,500 men captured, killed or
1780. Monday 13th March. Alexander and Courageux took Monsieur.
1790. Monday 20th March. Cornwallis chased by La Motte Piquet off St. Domingo.
1780. Wednesday 12th April. HMS Rodneys Victory off Cape St. Vincent.
1780. Monday 17th April. Rodney engaged de Guichen in the West indies. The Battle of Martinique in the West Indies took
place during the American War of Independence between the British Royal
Navy and the French Navy.
1780. Friday 9th May. Rodney engaged de Guichen in the West indies.
1780. Friday 12th May. The Battle and Capture of Charleston was one of the
major battles which took place towards the end of the American
Revolutionary War, after the British began to shift their strategic
focus towards the American Southern Colonies. After six weeks of siege,
a continental Army led by Major General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered
his forces numbering about 5,000 to the British.
1780. Saturday 1st July. HMS Romney took Artois.
1780. Tuesday 4th July. The French 32 gun frigate La Capricieuse was captured
by the British frigates HMS Prudente and HMS Licorne. After a four hour
battle in which the French lost her Captain and 150 men were killed and
wounded. The ship was so knocked about that her captors had to set her
on fire. The British ships lost 20 killed and 28 wounded between them.
Captain Waldegrave of HMS Prudente made the following report on the
behaviour of his detachment of Marines: “in justice to Lieutenant Banks
of the Marines, I must beg leave to observe to their Lordships, that
his party behave with upmost steadiness and bravery, keeping up a
regular and constant fire from the beginning of the action, till
necessity called them to the great guns, when they showed an equal
share of spirit and good order.”
1780. Thursday 6th July. HMS Romney took Perle.
1780. Friday 14th July. Nonsuch destroyed a Frigate and took Belle Foule.
1780. Thursday 10th August. The fight between the HMS Flora and the Nymphe.
Every one of HMS Floras Marine detachment were killed in the capture
of the French ship Nymphe. With two masts gone, Monmouth’s wounded
Captain was one of only five left alive on the quarter and poop deck.
All including the senior Lieutenant of Marines had been killed. The
same fate had befell all below on the gun deck.
1780. Saturday 12th August. Rienfaisant took Comte d' Artois.
1780. Tuesday 12 September. Vestal took Phoenix.
1780. Saturday 30th September. Pearl took Esperrance.
1780. Monday 2nd October. Stirling Castle, Thunderer, Phoenix, Deal Castle and Endeavour were lost.
1780. Tuesday 10th October. Laurel, Scarborough, Andromeda, and Blanche were lso in the West Indies.
1780. Thursday 2nd November. Zephyr took Senigal, late Racehorse.
1780. November. Sartine lost off Mangalore.
1780. Wednesday 20th December. A ‘Fourth Anglo-Dutch War’ took place from
1780 to 1784 over secret Dutch trade and negotiations with the American
colonies, then in revolt against England.
1780. Wednesday 20th December. The English quickly took advantage off the
newly declared Dutch war and captured key Dutch possessions in the West
and East Indies, while imposing a powerful blockade of the Dutch coast.
1780. December. Bellona took Princess Caroline.
1781. January. Warwick took Rotterdam.
1781. Thursday 4th January. Courageux and Alexander took Minerve.
1781. Tuesday 23rd January. HMS Culloden lost on Long Island.
1781. Sunday 29th January. Wilmington surrendered to the Blonde and consorts.
1781. Friday 3rd February. St. Eustatia taken by HMS Rodney.
1781. HMS Monarch took Mars and Dutch convoy.
1781. March. Cerberus took Grana.
1781. Thursday 16th March. Arbuthnot engaged de Terney.
1781. Monday 16th April. Johnstone attacked by Suffren in Porto Praya Bay.
1781. Friday 20th April. Resource re-took Unicorn.
1781. Sunday 29th April. Hood engaged De Grasse off Martinique.
1781. Wednesday 2nd May. Canada took Santa Leocadia.
1781. Tuesday 8th May. Mentor and Port Royal captured by the Spaniards.
1781. Monday 14th May. Nonsuch, 64, engaged Actif, 74.
1781. Monday 28th May. Atalanta and Trepassey taken by American frigate USS Alliance.
1781. Wednesday 30th May. Crescent taken by Brielle, but re-taken by Flora.
1781. Wednesday 30th May. Flora took Castor.
1781. Wednesday 20th June. Castor and Crescent taken by the Dutch.
1781. Monday 16th July. Charleston, Allegiance, and Vulture engaged Astree and Hermione.
1781. August. Southampton engaged Surveillante.
1781. Wednesday 1st August. Pelican lost off Morant Keys.
1781. Sunday 5th August. Hyde Parker engaged Zoutman on the Dogger Bank. Marines were involved in the only significant
engagement of the war, when a small Dutch force won a victory off
Dogger Bank in the English Channel.
A letter of the engagement
from H. Parker: "Yesterday we fell in with the Dutch squadron, with a
large convoy, on the Dogger bank. I was happy to find I had the wind of
them, as the great number of their large frigates might otherwise have
endangered my convoy. Having separated the men of war from the merchant
ships, and made the signal to the last to keep their wind, I bore away
with the general signal to chase. The enemy formed their line,
consisting of eight two decked ships; ours, including the HMS Dolphin,
consisting of seven. Not a gun was fired on either side until within
the distance of half musket shot, the Fortitude being then abreast of
the Dutch Admiral, the action began and continued with unceasing fire
for three hours and forty minutes, by this time our ships were
unmanageable. I made an effort to form the line, in order to renew the
action, but found it impracticable, the Bienfaisant had lost her
fore topmast, and the HMS Buffalo her fore yard, the rest of the ships
were not less shattered in their masts, rigging, and sails. The enemy
appeared to be in as bad a condition; both squadrons lay a considerable
time near each other, when the Dutch with their convoy bore away for
Texel. We were not in a condition to follow them. His Majesty's
officers and men behaved with great bravery, nor did the enemy show
less gallantry. The Fortitude was extremely well seconded by Captain
McCartney in HMS Princess Amelia, but he was unfortunately killed early
in the action, Lieutenant Hill has great merit in so well supporting
the conduct of his brave Captain. As there was great probability of our
coming into action again, Captain MacBride very readily obliged me by
taking command of that ship, and I have appointed Mr. Waghorne, my
first Lieutenant, to the command of HMS Artois. This gentleman,
although much hurt in the action, refused to leave my side while it
lasted. Captain Graeme, of HMS Preston has lost an arm. (In closed)
I transmit a list of the killed and wounded, and an account of the
damage sustained by the ships. "The enemy's force was, I believe, much
superior to what their Lordships apprehended; and I flatter myself they
will be satisfied that we have done all that was possible with ours.
The frigates this morning discovered one of the Dutch men of war sunk
in twenty two fathoms water, her top gallant masts were above the
surface, which Captain Patton has struck and brought to me on board. I
believe she was the second ship of the line of 74 guns."
1781. Tuesday 7th August. Medea took Belisarius.
1781. Thursday 9th August. Isis took Trumbull.
1781. Friday 17th August. George III. visited the fleet at the Nore.
1781. Sunday 19th August - 4th February 1782. The defence of Fort St.
Philip Minorca was conducted by a small Corps of 430 Marines and
Sailors when the Spanish blocked the harbour.
Beatson’s M. &
N. Memoirs: “A small Corps of Marines and Sailors belonging to such of
His Majesty’s ships as chanced to be here when the Spaniards blocked up
the harbour, were of great service during the siege, and being more
accustomed to live on salted provisions, they kept their health much
better than the other troops in the garrison.”
One of the charges against General Murray the Governor of the Island,
when called to account for Its loss, was that in order to make out that
he had a garrison weaker than it really was, he suppressed in his
report to the Secretary of State: “The mention of the Marines Corps,
which alone consisted of 430 fit for duty, with 125 Artillery men,
besides Greeks, Algerines and Corsicans.”
Lieutenants Davis and Crew, 3 Sergeants and 54 Privates were killed in
the defence, and Captain Harman and Lieutenant Hodges were wounded.
1781. Sunday 26th August. Richmond and Isis taken by the French.
1781. Wednesday 5th September. Graves engaged De Grasse off the Chesapeake.
1781. Thursday 6th September. Savage, 14, taken by Congress, 20.
1781. Chatham took Magicienne.
1781. Friday 26th October. Hannibal took Neckar.
1781. Monday 8th October. The first reference to a Marine Band at Chatham
(the 1st Grand Division) although it is believed that a Fife Drum Band
was formed there in 1773.
1781. Sunday 21st October. 3,200 of the East India Company’s troops were at
Nagore and Vice Admiral Sir Edward Hughes landed the Marines of the
squadron that was 443 strong. The next day 827 seamen along with two 24
pounders, twelve 18 pounders, two12 pounders, two 10 inch and six 5-1/2
mortars. The Marines who, on landing immediately joined the land
forces, co-operated to the utmost, and during the Siege of Negapatam,
were unrivalled in their gallantry, as well as performing most
important services, in landing with the utmost difficulty and danger,
through the surf, guns and mortars for the batteries on shore.
1781. Monday 29th October – 11th November. An attack was made upon Negapatam
by 3200 troops, under the Command of Major General Sir Hector Munro,
K.B. assisted by a squadron of five ships of the line under Vice
Admiral Sir Edward Hughes. On the Sunday 2lst October the Marines
disembarked from the ships, amounting to 443 men, including officers,
and immediately joined the army at Nagore, on the sea coast. On the
following day 800 seamen, under Captains Mackenzie, and H. Keynolds,
were also placed under the orders of Sir Hector Munro, and the
artillery, with stores necessary for the siege, were with much
difficulty landed through the surf. The general, having invested the
place in the best manner his scanty force would admit, determined on an
assault; and on the Thursday 29th of October the strong lines which the
enemy had thrown up were stormed, and carried by the steady and
distinguished bravery of our troops. On Saturday 3rd November the
approaches were commenced, and on the Wednesday 7th a battery of 10
eighteen-pounders was ready to open fire. During the course of the
siege, the enemy made two desperate sallies with the greater part of
the garrison, but they were beaten back with great loss. On Saturday
10th the batteries opened with so much effect upon the bastion, in
which a breach was to be made, that the enemy proposed to capitulate,
and on the Sunday 11th November both town and citadel were taken
possession of by the British troops. The garrison consisted of 8000
men, but of these only 600 were Europeans, and about 2000 were the
troops of Hyder Ali, who fled on the first charge made on the enemy's
lines. The loss sustained by the British during the siege of Negapatam
was 28 killed, and about 100 wounded. The Marines and seamen were
re-embarked on board the ships and prepared for an attack of the Dutch
settlement of Trincomale, which did not take place until the following
1781. Admiral Hughes dispatched his Squadrons of Marines to support the East India troops during the capture of Negapatam.
1782. Friday 11th January. The Capture of Trincomale. After the capture of
Negapatam, the tempestuous state of the weather retarded the intended
departure of the squadron of Sir Edward Hughes to attack the Dutch
settlement of Trincomale, on the island of Ceylon, but the squadron
having embarked 30 Artillery men, and 600 volunteer Sepoys, put to sea
on the Thursday 3rd January from the roads of Negapatam, and arrived in
the bay of Trincomale on the 4th. Early in the morning the Marines,
with 2 six-pounders, were landed, and soon afterwards 800 seamen were
disembarked, followed by the Sepoys; and before it became dark, the
whole force pushed forward towards TrincomaIe fort. On the same night
the Grenadier companies of the Marines, led by Lieutenant Orr, made
themselves masters of the fort, by forcing an entry through the gateway
at the moment the governor was preparing terms of capitulation. The
garrison consisted of only 3 officers and 40 men, but the possession of
the fort was important to the future operations of the enterprise as it
commanded the only safe landing for stores and provisions from the
ships. On Tuesday 8th the seamen and Marines captured a post situated
on the top of a high hill commanding Fort Ostenburgy which fortress was
also on the summit of a neighbouring eminence that commanded the
harbour. Sir Edward Hughes, after sending a second summons to the
governor without success ordered the immediate preparation for an
assault on the morning of the 11th. Accordingly the storming party,
consisting of 460 seamen and Marines, having on their flanks a party of
pioneers, with 20 seamen carrying scaling-ladders, and a reserve of
three companies of seamen and three of Marines, supported by two
field-pieces and the Company's troops, advanced at daylight towards the
fort. A Sergeant's party of Marines led the attack, and getting through
the embrasures, the Dutch were soon driven from their positions and the
fort gained, with the loss of Lieutenant George Long of the navy, and
20 sailors and Marines killed, and Lieutenant Samuel Wolseley of the
navy, Lieutenant Samuel one of the Marines, officiating as Brigade
Major, and 40 men wounded. The fort mounted above 60 guns, and
contained a garrison of 400 men. In the harbour there were two valuable
East Indiamen, and 30 smaller vessels. Sir Edward Hughes, in his
official report, thus expresses himself on the conduct of the Marines.
“The whole of the officers who have been landed from the squadron for
the attack of Negapatam and Trincomale, have on all occasions
manifested much honour, courage, and good conduct, and the private
seamen and Marines have acted with great steadiness and bravery."
1782. Corps Strength at that time was 26,291 men.
1782. January. Hannibal and Chafer captured by the French.
1782. Friday 25th January. Hood attacked three times by De Grasse off Basse Terre.
1782. Saturday 17th February. The Battle of Sadras off Ceylon, was the first of
five largely indecisive naval battles fought between a British fleet
under Admiral Sir Edward Hughes and French fleet under the Bailli de
Suffren off the east coast of India (during the ‘American War of
Independence’). The battle was fought near present day Kalpakkam, and
was tactically indecisive. Although the British fleet suffered the most
damage, and the troop transports that Suffren was protecting were able
to land their troops at Porto Novo. The British suffered 32 men killed
and 83 wounded, while the French had 30 killed and about 100 wounded.
1782. Friday 16th March. Success took Santa Catalina.
1782. Tuesday 9th April - Friday 12th April. A naval battle that took place
during the ‘American War of Independence’, that ended with a victory
for the British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir George Rodney,
over a French fleet under the Comte de Grasse forcing the French and
Spanish to abandon its planned invasion of Jamaica. The British
suffered 243 dead, 816 wounded. While the French suffered far worse
with 4 ships of the line captured,1 destroyed, 3,000 dead or wounded
and 5,000 captured.
1782. Friday 12th April. Rodney defeated De Grasse off Martinique.
1782. Friday 12th April. Lord Rodney’s action off Dominica. Admiral Rodney’s Letter: “I received
intelligence that the enemy were embarking their troops on board the
ships of war, and concluded that they intended to sail in a few days.
Captain Byron of the Andromache, an active and diligent officer,
watched their motions with such attention that on the 8th inst. at
day light he made out the enemy's signal of coming out and standing to
N.W. I instantly made the signal to weigh, and having looked into the
Bays of Fort Royal and St. Pierre, I made signal for a general chase,
and before day light came up with the enemy under Dominique, where both
fleets were becalmed, and continued so for some time. The enemy first
got the wind, and stood towards Guadaloupe. My van division, under that
gallant officer Sir Samuel Hood, received it next, and stood after
them. At nine the enemy began to cannonade my van, which was returned
with the greatest briskness. The baffling winds did not permit part of
the centre division to get into action with the enemy's rear till
half past eleven, and then only the ship next me in line of battle,
&c. The enemy's cannonade ceased upon my rear's approach, but not
before they had done considerable damage to the ships in the van, and
disabled HMS Royal Oak and HMS Montague. The night of the 9th inst.
the fleet lay-to to repair their damages. The 10th they continued to
turn to windward under a very easy sail, the enemy continuing to do the
same; and always had it in their power to come into action, which they
cautiously avoided, and rendered it impossible for me to force them in
the situation they were in, between the Saints and the island of
Dominique. On the 11th, the enemy having gained considerably to the
windward, and the wind blowing a fresh steady gale, I made the signal
for a general chase to windward, which continued the whole day; and
towards sunset one of the enemy's ships, damaged in the late action,
falling to leeward, the Count de Grasse bore down with his whole fleet
to her protection, which brought him so near that I flattered myself he
would give me an opportunity of engaging him next day. With that view I
threw out the signal for the form of sailing, and stood with the whole
fleet to the southward till two in the morning, then tacked, and had
the happiness, at day-light, to find my most sanguine desire was near
being accomplished, by my having it in my power to force the enemy to
battle. Note from Lord Rodney's narrative contained in a private
letter. The 10th of April and the 11th were employed in endeavouring to
bring the enemy to battle, and on the 11th, late in the afternoon, the
enemy bore down to protect two of their own ships, who were in danger
of being cut off. This brought them to the position the Admiral wished;
he instantly issued orders to sail during the night in the order of
sailing; to put out all lights; to stand to the southward till two in
the morning, and then the whole fleet to tack without signal. This
deceived the enemy, who had no conception that the British fleet should
be so near them at day light, we instantly formed the line of battle on
our starboard tack, the enemy formed theirs on the larboard tack, and
had made the signal to wear; but the nearness of the British squadron
prevented its being put into execution, and the British fleet taking
the lee gage, the Admiral made the signal to engage and close."
1782. Sunday 21th April. Hughes engaged Suffren (2nd action).
1782. Sunday 21st April. Foudroyant took Pegase.
1782. Tuesday 23rd April. Queen took Actionnaire.
1782. Friday 5th July. Hughes engaged Suffren (3rd action).
1782. Monday 29th July. Santa Margaritta took Amazone.
1782. Thursday 29th August. The loss of the Royal George, which foundered at Spithead.
1782. Monday 2nd September. Due de Chartres took Aigle, French frigate.
1782. Tuesday 3rd September. Hughes engaged Suffren (4th action).
1782. Wednesday 4th September. The Rainbow took Hebe.
1782. Wednesday 11th September. The Warwick and Lion took Aigle, French frigate.
1782. Friday 13th September. Grand attack upon Gibraltar by the Spaniards. The start of an assault involving 100,000 men,
48 ships and 450 cannon, against the British garrison of Gibraltar
1782. Wednesday 9th October. London and Torbay engaged Scipion, which was run ashore.
1782. The Diamond took Magdalena, Dutch armed ship.
1782. The Alligator taken by Fee.
1782. Friday 11th October. The Relief of Gibraltar by Lord Howe.
1782. November. The Ruby captured the Solitaire.
1782. Saturday 30th November. The British and Americans sign preliminary Articles of Peace.
1782. Thursday 12th December. The Mediator took Alexander.
1782. Thursday 12th December. The Mediator took Menagere.
1782. Monday 23rd December. The Diomede took South Carolina.
1782. The loss of the Blonde.
1782. The Solebay burnt to save her from capture.
1783. January. Leander engaged a French 74.
1783. January. Argo taken by Nymphe and Amphitrite.
1783. February. Hussar took Sybille.
1783. February. St. Albans took Concorde.
1783. Fox took Santa Catalina.
1783. Sunday 2nd March. Resistance took Coquette.
1783. March. There was a Mutiny at Spithead of such extent that it can only
be compared with that of the great outbreaks of 1797? Some of the ships
company’s notably those of HMS Ganges, HMS Janus, and HMS Proselyte threatened to run their ships on shore and destroy them
unless their wages were instantly paid and themselves discharged.
1783. Monday 14th – Friday 18th April. The Capture of the New Providence of
Nassau in the Bahamas, took place late in the ‘American War of
Independence’, when a Loyalist expedition under the command of Andrew
Deveaux set out to retake the Bahamas from the Spanish. The expedition
was successful and Nassau fell without a shot being fired. It was one
of the last actions of the entire war. 600 Spaniards surrendered that
were later repatriated, 7 ships were scuttled and 50 cannons captured.
1783. Friday 20th June. Hughes engaged Suffren (5th action).
3rd September. The United States of America and Great Britain sign the
Treaty of Paris thus ending the war between them.
1783. Wednesday 5th November. Loss of Superbe off Tellicherry.
1783. Tuesday 25th November. British troops finally leave New York City.
1783. Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth was first occupied.
1783. Corps Strength at that time was 26,291 men.
1784. May. The Dutch republic was never able to assemble a proper fleet for
combat, and when the war ended the Dutch were at the lowest peak of
their power and prestige.
1784. Friday 30th July. Antelope lost off Jamaica.
1784. Sunday 8th August. First mention of a 'Wardroom'.
1784. The peace with the Dutch reduced the establishment to 4,496 Marines,
including six field-officers with their companies. Three Lieutenant
Colonels and three Majors, on the formation of the expedition to Botany
Bay. Whilst four companies were added, the field officers remained
reduced. On the retirement of Lord Howe the Earl of Chatham became the
first Lord of the Admiralty, and in consequence of the presentation of
a memorial from the three divisions, the field officers and their
companies were restored.
1785. Thursday 6th October. Loss of Rambler in Leigh Roads.
1786. Having lost the use of the American Colonies as a country to deport its
convicts, and of their use in populating the county with its subject,
in order to spread the word that it was English Territory. A new plan
was devised to send Convicts to Australia.
1787. Sunday 13th May. The First Fleet set sail from Portsmouth in United
Kingdom, Commanded by Captain (later Admiral) Arthur Phillip. It
consisted of eleven vessels containing a total of 1420 people. (1373
landed). The Flag ship was HMS Sirius along with HMS Supply.
The Convict transport ships were HMS Alexander, HMS Charlotte, HMS Friendship, HMS Lady Penrthyn, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS
Scarborough. The Stores ships were HMS Fishburn, HMS Borrowdale,
and HMS Golden Grove. The cargo of convicts comprised of 565 male 192
female and 18 children. His orders were to set up a penal colony in
Australia. After a voyage that lasted almost 250 days they arrived in
Botany Bay New South Wales.
The First Fleet called in at Tenerife
before setting sail for Rio de Janeiro where they stayed for a month,
in which time they took on extra supplies. By this time it had been
discovered that in spite of all Captain Phillips had organised two very
important items had been over looked. Soap for the convicts was one,
and ball ammunition for the Marines was another. It was perhaps,
fortunate that the convicts had not discovered the latter before 10,000
musket balls could be brought from the Arsenal in Rio. Here they also
obtained paper for making cartridges, and a supply of soap from which
the convicts were able to repay the Marines to whom they had been
indebted for what little of this useful article they had been able to
borrow during the voyage.
1787. Sunday 23rd December. Bounty sailed. (Mutiny, 28th April 1790).
1788. Friday18th and 20th January. Captain Arthur Phillip had been given full
instructions for the setting up of the colony, with full authorisation
to make regulations, and land grants to those within the colony. A
detachment of four companies of Marines, under the command of Major
Robert Ross, that consisted of four Captains, 12 Subalterns, 24
Sergeants and Corporals, 8 Drummers, and 160 Privates. That included
his Adjutant, Second Lieutenant John Long, Quartermaster Lieutenant
James Furzer, Engineer Officer Lieutenant William Dawes and his four
Company Commanders. Captains James Campbell and John Shea, Captain
Lieutenants James Meredith and Watkin Tench. Their job was to protect
the new colony as they settled into their new world. Many went on to
stay never to return to the United Kingdom.
At that time, private
Marines enlisted for life although discharge by purchase was allowed on
payment of 10 guineas. Those who went to NSW, however, had the option
of discharge after three years. Recruits were paid a 2 guinea bounty as
an inducement to join. Daily pay rates which included a food and
clothing allowance, ranged from £1.6s.6p for a Major to 1/2d for a
Marine private. However, when the Fleet finally arrived at Botony Bay,
the area was deemed to be unsuitable for settlement due to its lack of
fresh water, even though it had been recommended by Captain James Cook
back in 1770.
They moved north arriving at Port Jackson on the Australian East coast
on Saturday 26th January 1788. However, Botany Bay had other
shortcomings as well, as it was open to the sea, making it unsafe for
the ships and Captain Arthur Phillip (the Colony's first Governor)
considered the soil around Botany Bay was poor for crop growing. From
the start the settlement was beset with problems. Very few convicts
knew how to farm and the soil around Sydney Cove as predicted was very
poor. Instead of Cook's lush pastures, well watered and fertile ground,
suitable for growing all types of foods and providing grazing for
cattle, they found a hot, dry, unfertile country side unsuitable for
the small farming necessary to make the settlement self-sufficient.
Everyone, from the convicts to Captain Phillip, lived on rationed food.
The natives were wary and fearful of the settlers, who referred to them
as Indians. Some African American convicts, hoping to be accepted by
the natives, escaped but were rejected by them. Other convicts, heeding
rumours of other settlements nearby and that China was just over the
horizon, also escaped. Those that managed to survive the rigors of the
country returned to the colony and to further punishment.
While the natives subsisted on local plants and fish, the settlers
found few of the plants to be appetising. As the settlers appear to
have been poor fishermen, most of their food had to come from the
supplies brought with them on the ships. This resulted in their total
dependence on a shipping trade monopolised by the East India Company
and none existent as far as Sydney was concerned. Rats, dogs, crows, an
occasional kangaroo or emu were to be used to supplement the food.
Shelter was also a problem. They had very little building material and
the government had provided only a very limited supply of tools, which
were of a bad quality. With the local trees being huge, and the wood
hard, these tools were soon blunt or broken and building slowed. Extra
clothing had been forgotten and, by the time the Second Fleet arrived,
convicts and Marines alike were dressed in patched and threadbare
clothing. By July 1788, all the ships except the naval vessels HMS Syrius and HMS Supply had left and the settlement was isolated.
1788. Wednesday 9th July. The number of the Marines serving in New South
Wales (NSW) in Australia, was 211 men including 160 Privates.
1788. Monday 10th November. The number of the Marines serving in NSW, was 196
men of all ranks, including 160 privates, plus 12 men absent.
1788. Upon the British First Fleet arrival there was no provision made for
policing the new settlement. Arthur Phillip’s commission empowered him
to, "Appoint of constables and other necessary officers and ministers
in our said territory and its dependencies for the better
administration of justice and putting the law in execution". However,
policing in Britain was less than proficient, so he had no model to
base the establishment of a law enforcement agency upon. Watchmen,
called Charlie’s after King Charles II who introduced them, were the
first paid keepers of the peace in London, but they were rather
ineffectual and it was a job for old men. Charlie’s were often
ridiculed by the people. The Marines who accompanied the First Fleet
refused to carry out the duties of a police force. Their Commander
Major Robert Ross stated that his men were soldiers, not prison guards,
and it was insulting to His Majesty’s Regiments to expect them to act
in such a role. However, they did agree to guard the settlement and
patrol at night. Governor Phillips appointed freeman James Smith as a
peace officer but he retired after a brief period, as he was deemed too
old and infirm to be effective.
1788 - 1850. The English deported over 162,000 convicts to Australia in 806 ships.
1788 - 1930’s. The
Australian Frontier Wars were a series of conflicts that were fought
between Indigenous Australians and European settlers that spanned a
total of 146 years. The first fighting took place several months after
the landing of the First Fleet on Saturday 26th January 1788. The last
clashes is recorded to have occurred as late as 1934.
1789. Thursday 9th July. Royal Visit to Portland Roads.
1789. Tuesday 18th August. Royal Visit to Plymouth Sound.
1789.Thursday 24th December. Loss of the Guardian.
1789. Scarcely a night passed when there was not a theft of some kind. After
six Marines were executed during March 1789 for stealing provisions
when the colony was close to starvation, it became obvious that some
form of organised law enforcement was needed. In July 1789 convict John
Harris went to Collins with a proposal for a night watch to be
established from among the convicts to deal with all those found away
from their huts at improper hours. Collins commented that: "It was to
be wished, that a watch established for the preservation of public and
private property had been formed of free people, and that necessity had
not compelled us in selecting the first members of our little police,
to be appointed from a body of men in whose eyes, it could not be
denied, the property of individuals had never been sacred. However,
there was no choice convicts who had any property were themselves
interested in defeating such practises as theft". This first night
watch consisted of 12 well behaved convicts and was split into four
divisions. The Rocks watch patrolled from the hospital to the
observatory, approximately Globe Street to Dawes Point. In November
1789, Collins wrote that the night watch had been very effective, there
were fewer crimes and the culprits were usually caught. On Monday 1st
February 1790, Governor Phillip advised Lord Sydney of "the institution
of a night watch to control robberies (particularly of vegetables and
poultry) was immediately effective” and that there was “no robbery in
three months". The night watch were held in "fear and detestation" by
their fellow convicts. Convicted pick-pocket George Barrington arrived
in Sydney in 1791 and was almost immediately appointed a police
constable guarding the colony’s stores. He later became Chief Constable
1789 to 1792. The Third Anglo Mysore War was a conflict that took place in South
India between the Kingdom of Mysore and the East India Company and its
allies that included France and the Maratha Empire.
1789. The start of the French Revolution that took place from 1789 to 1799.
1789. The Plymouth order Book. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty do
not recognise a Light Infantry. Saying Officers may wear the
appointments, if they have the ordinary ones when required.
1790. Saturday 6th March. HMS Sirus and HMS Supply having on board 65
officers and men, with 5 women and children belonging to the Marine
detachment and the civil department, 116 male and 67 female convicts,
with 27 children, sailed for that small but beautiful, fertile Island
of Norfolk. The Governor had sized on the opportunity of getting rid of
his uncongenial Lieutenant Governor, by giving him a commission as
Commandant of Norfolk Island, and it is quite possible that Ross
himself was glad enough to go.
1790. June. Five of the six ships comprising the ‘The Second Fleet’ arrived
at Sydney. The sixth HMS Guardian had been so severely damaged by a
collision with and Iceberg that she had to be beached in Table Bay,
narrowly escaping total loss.
1790. Thursday 10th June. In a despatch from Sydney Australia Governor Hunter
writes to the Duke of Portland he states “I shall now only trouble your
Grace further by mentioning that there are a considerable number of the
Marines, who were the first troops sent to this country, and who upon
the recall of that Corps from hence were allowed to enlist for a five
years in the New South Wales Corps, some of them having completed this
last engagement, are desirous of settling in the country and are
entitled to a double proportion of land in consequence of a double tour
1790. Vancouver's Expedition in the Discovery.
1790 - 1807.
The Marines uniform of the day. (Taken from 'Britain's
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
Click photo to enlarge
1791. Tuesday 16th August. Loss of Pandora.
1791. November. Phoenix took Resolu.
1791. Thursday 18th December. After 18 months service in Norfolk Island,
major Ross returned to Sydney, and with the greater part of
Marines left for England on board HMS Gorgon leaving behind only one
Captainand Lieutenant, three 1st Lieutenants, the Judge Advocate
(Collins), eight Non Commissioned Officers, two Drummers and fifty
1791. On a memorial being presented, an invalid establishment was formed,
allowing the following officers to retire, one Commandant on 24d per
day, one Lieutenant Colonel, one Major, and twelve Captains, six First
Lieutenants, and three Second Lieutenants.
1792. Wednesday 12th September. Trial of some of the Bounty mutineers at Portsmouth.
1792. Tuesday 11th December. The last of the Marines left Sydney (NSW) with Governor Phillip on his ship HMS Atlantic.
1792. Saturday 15th December. A number of Marines remained in Australia as
settlers and in a despatch from Governor Phillip, these included 8 at
Parramatta and 31 at Norfolk Island, while others remained in Sydney,
some had died and six had been executed.
1792. Lodging money was allowed at the following rates: Commandants 20
shillings per week, Field Officers 12 shillings. Captains 8 shillings
and Subalterns 6 shillings. The non-commissioned Officers and Privates
obtained the privilege of allotting.
1792. Although no complete Marine units were garrisoned in Australia between
1792 and 1824 a few individual Marines and Officers were attached to
garrison Regiments in NSW during that period. Those who choose to stay
after having completing their military service and in some cases having
married, were give crown land to settle on and build a home. Many
Australians today can trace their ancestors back to these Marines.
1793. Saturday 2nd February. War declared by France against Great Britain. It meant that for the next twenty three years the Marines were in action around the world. At the start of the war the Marines had 70 companies However, the establishment was raised to 9,815 men.
1793. Wednesday 13th March. Scourge captured Sans Culotte.
1793. Friday 15th March. Syren, and convoy engaged batteries at Moordyke.
1793. Sunday 14th April. Phaeton captured General Dumourier.
1793. Monday 15th April. The capture of Tobago. The British forces numbered
400 men that included Major Richard Bright, 1 Lieutenant 2 Sergeants, 1
Drummer and 27 Private Marines.
1793. Monday 13th May. Iris engaged Citoyenne Francaise.
1793. Monday 27th May. Venus engaged Semillante.
1793. Monday 27th May. Hytzna taken by French squadron.
1793. Tuesday 18th June. Nymphe captured Cleopatre.
1793. July. The Marines were authorised to recruit in Ireland at three recruiting stations in Dublin, Waterford and Cork.
1793. Wednesday 31st July. Boston engaged L’embuscade..
1793. Thursday 15th August - 18th December. Operations at Toulon. Lord Hood
leading a squadron of 21 ships of the line and several frigates entered
the harbour of Toulon to assist the inhabitants against the tyranny of
the Republican faction which had seized control of the Government. The
Loyalists willingly handed over the town, and 1,500 troops and a number
of Marines under the Command of Captain Richard Bidlake near fort La
Malgue. The later occupied the fort which stood on a hill between the
little and the great roads, while Fort Mulgrave was situated on the
tongue of land that continued from the hill into the harbour. Soon
afterwards a Spanish fleet arrived with reinforcements, and on the 31st
August the allied British marched out and defeated a republican
detachment near Ollicules. The Marines of the fleet were dispersed over
the various forts and lines of defence, which soon came under fire from
the enemy’s batteries, the number of the besiegers increasing day after
day. Fighting continued until December, when the increasing pressure of
the enemy rendered the evacuation of the town inevitable. One of the
most brilliant events of the siege was the defence of a redoubt by
Lieutenant Thomas Naylor of the Marines with 120 men, mostly of his own
Corps. A French column of 2,000 strong, covered by a fog attempted to
surprise the redoubt in the early morning, but the garrison was on the
alert, and Naylor, ordering his men to reserve their fire until the
Republicans were at close quarters and then to fire by platoons,
succeeded in killing or wounding nearly a quarter of their numbers and
eventually repulsing their attack. Fort Mulgrave became known as the ‘Little Gibraltar’, and other forts fell one after another into the
hands of the Enemy, and at 10pm on the18th December, the defence was
restricted to the town and the Fort on La Malgue, which were held while
the French men of war in harbour and the magazines were burnt and blown
up, and the Loyalist who number nearly 15,000 men, women and children
embarked on board the fleet to save them from the bloodthirsty
I793. August to December. 0perations under Lord Hood at Toulon.
1793. September. Lowestoft captured a tower at Mortella, Corsica.
1793. Tuesday 1st October. Ardent and convoy at Tornelli and San Fiorinzo, Corsica.
1793. Saturday 5th October. Bedford and Speedy captured Modeste.
1793. Saturday 12th October. Boats of Captain captured Imperieuse.
1793. Sunday 20th October. Crescent captured Reunion.
1793.Tuesday 22nd October. Agamemnon engaged French frigates.
1793. Thursday 24th October. Thames engaged Uranie.
1793.Thursday 31st October. Quebec, and Convoy attacked Ostend and Nieuport.
1793. Monday 18th November. Latona engaged Tigre and Jean Bart.
1793. Monday 25th November. Penelope and Iphigenia captured Inconstante.
1793 to 1802. The ‘French Revolutionary Wars’. In which Great Britain, Austria,
Spain, Russia, Germany and the French Royalists were all against French
Revolutionaries. While Marines saw action in the Mediterranean, South
Africa, India, Egypt and the East Indies, and its strength was
increased to 9,815 men.
1793. In consequence of the field officers being restored, and the
establishment of an invalid retirement, several officers, who had quit
active service, determined on returning to the effective corps; a
circumstance that would have been attended with so much injustice to
those who had continued in the service, and more particularly to the
junior ranks, that it was resolved to resist such applications, for
they had already experienced the injury arising from officers
re-joining. Memorials were sent to the Board of Admiralty from each
division to this effect: "That all officers may take rank and do duty
in the corps from the date of their last appointment, receive
promotion, and be placed on the list accordingly." The memorials were
acceded to and enforced until a recent period, when a few officers were
permitted to re-join; but this infraction, which was on a very limited
scale, arose from a resolution of Mr. Hume, that he would not consent
to the retirement of officers on full pay, or selling out, while
serviceable officers remained on half-pay. Only four or five
re-joined the corps, and about forty quitted the service.
1794. Saturday 11th January. There was a curios sequel to the evacuation of
Toulon. Not knowing of the British withdrawal HMS Juno sailing
from Malta arrived in Toulon at 10pm in the evening. She had no pilot
on board, and made her way into the harbour the as best she could.
Although here Captain was somewhat surprised to see no British ships in
the outer harbour, although the lights of several vessels were clearly
visible further in. Eventually a Brig at anchor loomed up through the
darkness, and as HMS Juno passed her a shout was not understood, and
supposed to be “What ship is that?” Upon the answer the crew of the
Brig was heard to cry out “Viva”, and as HMS Juno crossed her stern a
voice from her called out distinctly “Luff”. The helm was at once put
to lee, but HMS Juno grounded and so its boats were hoisted out to
warp her off. A sudden gust of wind drove her astern, and the anchor
was let go, but as she swung to it she touched again aft. While the
boats and sail trimmers were at work to get her off again, a boat came
out from the shore, and running alongside, two officers and a party of
seamen came on board and informed the Captain Sir Samuel Hood that it
was the regulation of the port and the Commanding Officers orders that
the ship should go to another branch of the harbour to perform
quarantine. “Where is Lord Hood’s flagship”, asked the Captain. The
reply he received aroused his suspicion, and it was then discovered
that the visitors were Frenchmen. All pretence was dropped. ”Soyez
tranquille” said the visitors, “les Anglais sont des braves gens
lestraitons bien, l’Amiral Anglais est parti il ya quelque temps”
It was a terrible trap, but just then a gust of wind came down the
harbour, and “I believe, Sir” said the 3rd Lieutenant “we shall be able
to fetch out if we can only get her under sail”. Where upon it was
every man to his station to set the sails upon the ship. The Frenchmen
drew their cutlasses, but the Marines seizing the boarding pikes from
their racks charged and drove the unwelcome visitors below, where they
were disarmed. The cable was cut and the ship got under way, and in
spite of heavy fire opened upon them from the batteries and forts on
shore HMS Juno succeeded in making her way out to sea without loss of
1794. Sunday 12th January. Sphinx captured Trompeuse.
1794. Wednesday 22nd January. Britannia and Nonsuch captured Vengeur and Resolu.
1794. Saturday 25th January. Houghton and Nonsuch engaged Cybele.
1794. Wednesday 5th February. The Capture of Martinique, by a British
expeditionary force under the Command of Admiral Sir John Jervis and
Lieutenant General Sir Charles Grey. By Thursday 20th March, only Fort
Bourbon and Fort Royal still held out. Jervis ordered the third rate
ship of the line HMS Asia of 64 guns, and HMS Zebra to take Fort
Saint Louis. HMS Asia was unable to get close, and so Commander Faulkner
went in without her help. Despite facing heavy fire, Faulkner ran HMS Zebra close under the walls. He and his ship's company then used HMS Zebra’s boats to land. The British stormed the fort and captured it. HMS Zebra lost only her pilot killed and four men wounded. Meanwhile the
boats of the British fleet captured Fort Royal and two days later Fort
1794. Saturday 8th February. Fortitude and Juno captured Mortella, Corsica.
1794. Monday 17th February. Alcide and squadron captured Fornelli, Corsica.
1794. Wednesday 19th February. The Capture of the ship St Fiorenzo in
Corsica by Lord Hood. The St Fiorenzo was a 38 gun fifth rate,
formerly the French ship named Minerve. She was captured having been
scuttled by the French. She was raised, and placed on harbour
protection from 1812 and finally broken up in 1837.
1794. February - March. Operations at and the capture of Martinique.
1794. February. The Siege of Saint-Florent took place during the ‘French
Revolutionary War’ when a British force joined with Corsican partisans
to capture the French garrison town of Saint-Florent, Corsica. After a
blockade by Royal Naval ships under Horatio Nelson. A landing was made
and British troops were put ashore where they were joined with around
1,200 Corsicans. The town was dominated by two defensive towers, one to
the north at Mortella Point and the other at the strong Convention
Redoubt. Once these had been taken the town agreed to surrender and the
British fleet under Lord Hood was able to sail into its harbour. A
large number of its defenders were able to escape to Bastia where they
participated in its defence. Saint-Florent was one of three major
French garrisons on Corsica the others being Bastia and Calvi.
1794. Early April. The Siege and surrender of Bastia in Corsica took place
during the French Revolutionary War, when an allied force of British
and Anglo Corsicans forces laid siege to the French town of Bastia.
After a six-week siege the garrison surrendered due to a lack of
supplies owing to a blockade by the Royal Navy. The siege was marked by
constant disputes with Lord Hood the naval Commander and Senior Army
1794. Friday 4th April. Capitulation of St. Lucia.
1794. Thursday 10th April. Capture of the Saintes.
1794. April. The British capture of Tobago and Santa-Lucia from the French.
However, Santa-Lucia was retaken by the French during the summer of
1795, and later taken back by the British during April 1796.
1794. The North and the South Barracks were built in Deal.
1794. Friday 11th - 12th April. The Winchelsea at Guadaloupe.
1794. Wednesday 23rd April. Sir J. B. Warren’s action off Guernsey, when the Arethusa captured the Pomone and Babet.
1794. April - May. Bombardment and capture of Bastia.
1794. Monday 5th May. The Orphers captured the Duguay-Trouin.
1794. Monday 5th - 7th May. The Swiftsure captured the Atalante.
1794. Thursday 29th May. The Carysfort captured the Castor.
1794. Thursday 29 th May - Sunday 1st June. Lord Howe’s Victory, the battle of the Glorious First
of June off Ushant. One of the great sea battles in which many Marines
took part. It was the first and largest fleet action of the naval
conflict between Great Britain and the First French Republic during the
‘French Revolutionary Wars’. The British Channel Fleet under Admiral
Lord Howe attempted to prevent the passage of a vital French grain
convoy from the United States of America, which was protected by the
French Atlantic Fleet, commanded by Rear-Admiral Villaret Joyeuse. The
two forces clashed in the Atlantic Ocean, some 400 nautical miles
(741km) west of the French island of Ushant. Howe's ships inflicted a
severe tactical defeat on the French fleet. Although in the aftermath
of the battle both fleets were left shattered and in no condition for
further combat. Both fleets were forced to return to their home ports.
The following is an extract taken from an account wrote immediately
after the battle, by an officer who served in the battle. It gives a
vivid description of what happened: “The sinking of the Vengeur was
one of the most awful sights ever beheld. This ship and the HMS Brunswick by some means got on board each other. HMS Brunswick lost her mizzen
mast before she got clear, but left her enemy a wreck of horrible ruin.
She carried her mast and yards, every one away, tore her decks and
sides to pieces, and left her sinking. She went to the bottom at about
a quarter past six, and I saw her sinking, fast, but gradually. After
the loss of her mizzen mast, main top mast and rigging cut to pieces,
the French hoisted an English Jack, and called for quarters, but HMS Brunswick, having all her boats shot to pieces, could not board the
enemy, and was obliged to let her go down, and all on board perished.”
The most obstinate conflict of the battle was between HMS Defence that carried 74 guns Captained by J. Gambier and HMS Jacobin with 110
guns. They were in close action for upwards of three hours, at the
expiration of which time HMS Jacobin went to the bottom, and HMS
Defence had become totally unmanageable as to be obliged and towed
out of the line by the frigate HMS Phaeton. The HMS Jacobin lay without masts
and a helm, and moving around by the force of the water, which rapidly
entering shot holes in her hull, and running over her galleries, she
quickly sunk. Yet so invincible was the spirit of her crew, that they
were still manning their upper deck guns, while the water was running
in at the lower deck ports. It seems that they had previously agreed
never to give up and nailed their colours to the staff, which were
flying when she went down. Those on the upper deck to a man, refused to
take to a cutter, and when the water rose to where they stood, they
took off their hats and gave three cheers universally crying out “Vive
la Republique Vive la Liberte”. This is corroborated in a letter from a
Seaman on board HMS Queen.
1794. Sunday 1st June. The Irresistible and Squadron took Fort Brissoton, P. au Prince.
1794. Sunday 8th June. The Crecent and the Druid engaged a French squadron.
1794. Wednesday 11th June. The Dido engaged a squadron in Gourjeau bay.
1794. Tuesday 17th June. The Romney captured S,bille.
1794. July to Sunday 10th August. The Siege and Capture of Calvi took place
during the French Revolutionary by the British forces, ending in a
British Victory. Troops under Charles Stuart under took the attack
against Calvi, one of his officers being Horatio Nelson. Heavy
bombardment drew equally heavy French and Corsican resistance. It was
during the fighting on the Saturday 12th July that Nelson lost the
sight of his right eye during an assault on the town. There followed
heavy fighting but the French batteries were captured one by one, and
on Sunday 10th August the French garrison finally surrendered with full
military honours, having held out for 40 days. During the siege it was
estimated that 24,000 cannon balls had been fired at the town.
1794. June - August. Victory and Agamemnon at Calvi.
1794. June - December. Unsuccessful operation at Guadaloupe.
1794. Saturday 23rd August. Squadron destroyed Volontaire.
1794. Saturday 23rd August. The Flora and Arethusa destroyed the Filicite, Espion, and Alerte.
1794. Tuesday 21st October. The Artois captured the Revolutionnaire.
1794. Wednesday 22nd October. The Centurion and the Diomede engaged a French Squadron.
1794. Thursday 6th November. The Canada and the Alexander (taken) engaged a French Squadron.
1794. Tuesday 30th December. The Blanche attacked the Desirade and captured a French Squadron.
1794. After a mutiny on board HMS Culloden, her crew flogged several Marines for not joining them.
1794. The establishment of Marines was increased to 12,115 men, in
consequence of a general memorial to Earl Spencer, then first Lord of
the Admiralty, presented by General Souter, which having obtained his
Lordship's favourable consideration, twenty one companies were added,
including those of six field-officers, and the levy money was also
increased to eight guineas.
1795. Friday 3rd - 7th January. The Diamond reconnoitred Brest.
1795. Sunday 4th January. The Blanche captures the Pique. The official
report reads ”The Marines under Lieutenant Richardson keeping up so well
directed and constant a fire, that not a man could appear on the
forecastle till she struck.”
1795. January - June. The Blanche and the Squadron at St. Lucia, Grenada.
1795. The Marines were further augmented to 15,000 men.
In consequence of some differences arising with regard to the Regiments
of the line doing duty as marines in the fleet, they were ordered to be
disembarked, and many of the men were permitted to enlist in the
Marines at an additional bounty of five guineas; and on the 15th of
November the levy money was increased to fifteen pounds, which allowed
ten guineas and a crown bounty to each recruit. This arrangement gave
such fresh vigour to the corps, that the companies were soon up to
their full strength.
1795. The French unsuccessfully attempt to retake Corsica.
1795. Saturday 7th March. The Berwick was captured by the French Fleet.
1795. Friday 13th March. The Lively captured the Tourterelle.
1795. Saturday 14th March. Hothams Victory off Genos, and the capture of two sail of the line.
1795. Sunday 29th March. The Cerberus captured the Jean Bart.
1795. Friday 10th April. The Astrea captured the Gloire.
1795. Saturday 11th April. The Hannibal captured the Gentille.
1795. Saturday 9th May. The Melampus and squadron were in Gourville Bay.
1795. Sunday 17th May. The Thetis and the Hussar captured the Raison and the Prlvoyante.
1795. Monday 25th May. Thorn captured Courier National in the West indies.
1795. Monday 8th June. The Kingfisher engaged a french convoy.
1795. Tuesday 9th June. The Masquito captured a Privateer.
1795. Wednesday 17th June. Cornwallis's retreat
1795. Tuesday 23rd June. Bridports Victory off O’Oient.
1795. Thursday 24th June. The Dido and the Lowestoft engaged the Minerve and Artemise.
1795. Monday 25th May. The Thorn captured the Courier National in the West Indies.
1795. Thursday 25th June. The 300 Marines at Quiberon.
1795. Saturday 22nd August . Engagement of Iris and consorts with Dutch frigates.
1795. Tuesday 25th August. Spider (cutter) captured a brig.
1795. Wednesday 26th August. Cutting-out exploits at Alassio and Lanqueglia Bays.
1795. June - December. Royal Marines in Quiberon.
1795. Friday 3rd July. The Melampus and the Hebe captured the Vesuve.
1795. July. Nelson Captures Elba.
1795. Sunday 12th July. The Cumberland captured the Alcide off Hyeres.
1795. Friday 7th August - 16th September. During the ‘Napoleonic Wars’,
Britain captured the Dutch Cape Colony’s, from the Dutch East India
Company. 350 Marines landed under Major Hill and took part in the battle
of Muizenburg, receiving the commendation of Major General Craig “for
their steadiness and resolution” upon this occasion. The advanced guard
of the 78th, supported by the Marines, drove the Dutch from their
position on the heights, and on the Thursday 8th August repelled a
counter attack supported by artillery.
1795. Saturday 22nd August. Engagement of the Iris and consorts with dutch Frigates.
1795. Tuesday 25th August. Spider (cutter) captured a Brig.
1795. Friday 26th August. Cutting out exploits at Alassio and Lanqueglia Bays.
1795. Monday 28th September. Rose captured a privateer and sank another.
1795. Tuesday 29th September. Southampton engaged Vestale.
1795. August. The capture of the Cape Colony by Elphinstone.
1795. August - October. Operations under Commodore Rainier at Ceylon.
1795. August - December. The capture of Malacea, Chinsura and Cohin.
1795. Wednesday 16th September. The Capture of Cape Town from the Dutch.
1795. Wednesday 7th October. Action off St. Vincent. Censeur captured by the French.
1795. Saturday 10th October. Mermaid captured Brutus.
1795. Tuesday 13th October. Mermaid captured Republicaine.
1795. Wednesday 14th October. Melampus and Latona engaged batteries at Groix.
1795. Thursday 15th October. Melampus and consorts engaged Tortue and Nertide.
1796. The Marines Companies were further augmented to 16,000 men. That included to 8 Sergeants, 8 Corporals, 8 Drummers and 113 Privates. Increasing later in the year to 120 Privates for a total establishment of some 18,000 men.
1796. Monday 15th February. Ceylon capitulated without resistance.
1796. Tuesday 16th February - Sunday 8th March. The capture of Amboyna and Banda Niera.
1796. Tuesday 16th February. Amboyna capitulated.
1796.Tuesday 8th March. Orpheus engaged Banda batteries, Banda Isles taken.
1796. Wednesday 9th March. Boats of Barfleur and consorts, re-captured vessels at Tunis.
1796.Thursday 10th March. Phaeton and convoy captured Bonne Citoyenne.
1796. Thursday 17th March. The storming of batteries at Herqui.
1796. Thursday 17th March. Diamond and convoy engaged at Port Spergni.
1796.Sunday 20th March. Anson and consorts engaged with French convoy.
1796. Monday 21st of March. The town and fort of Leogane, in the island of
San Domingo, was attacked by a detachment of Colonial and British
troops under Major General Forbes with two divisions, supported by the
squadron, which consisted of the three ships of the line HMS Leviathan,
HMS Swiftsure, and HMS Africa, with the frigates HMS Ceres and HMS Iphigenia, but the
fort proving better capable of defence than was anticipated, the troops
were withdrawn on the following day and night, without sustaining much
loss. HMS Leviathan had 5 men killed, and 12 wounded, and HMS Africa one killed, and 7 wounded, and both ships were so seriously damaged,
that they were under the necessity of going to Jamaica to refit
1796. Wednesday 13th April. Revolutionnaire captured Unite off Ushant.
1796. Sunday 17th April. Boats of Diamond captured Vengeur.
1796. Wednesday 20th April. Indefatigable captured Virginie.
1796. Wednesday 20th April. Inconstant captured Unite in the Mediterranean.
1796. Monday 25th April. Agamemnon and squadron captured French vessels at Finale.
1796. Wednesday 27th April. The capture of the Island of St. Lucia. 350
Marines were landed and the Re official report read “The conduct of the
Marines upon this, as upon all other occasions, was perfectly correct.”
1796. Wednesday 27th April. Niger and boats destroyed Eaireuil.
1796. Saturday 30th April. Agamemnon and squadron captured six vessels at Oneglia.
1796. April - May. Operations resulting in capitulation of Barbados.
1796. Wednesday 4th May. Spencer captured Volcan.
1796. Thursday 12th May. Phoenix captured Argo.
1796. Friday 27th May. Suffisante captured Revanche.
1796. Wednesday 8th June. Unicorn and Sta. Margaritta captured Tribune and Tamise.
1796. Wednesday 8th - 11th June. The capture of the Island of St. Vincent, during
the evening the troops destined for the attack were safely disembarked,
under cover of the 38 gun frigate HMS Arethusa, Captain Thomas Wolley, who
also sent a detachment of seamen to serve on shore with the troops.
After some skirmishing and an obstinate resistance, the enemy, composed
chiefly of people of colour and Charibs, capitulated on the terms
proposed by General Abercromby, who, on the 11th, took possession of
the island. The loss sustained by the British amounted to 38 officers
and privates killed, and 145 wounded.
1796. Thursday 9th June. Southampton captured Utile.
1796. Saturday 11thJune. The capture of Grenada, was taken with ease after
the locals knew what had happened on St Vincent only 4 days earlier.
1796. Monday 13th June. Dryad captured Proserpine.
1796. Friday 27th June. Inconstant saved British residents and consorts at Leghorn.
1796. June. Mermaid and squadron captured Grenada.
1796. Thursday 7th July. Quebec and convoy engaged two French frigates.
1796. Sunday 10th July. Captain seized Porto Ferrajo.
1796. Friday 15th July. HMS Glatton engaged a French squadron off Flanders.
1796. Friday 22nd - 23rd July. Amiable engaged Pensee, which escaped.
1796. Monday 8th August. Mermaid engaged Vengeance and batteries.
1796. Wednesday 17th August. The surrender of Dutch Squadron at Simon's Bay.
1796. Monday 22nd -23rd August. Galatea and convoy destroyed Andromaque.
1796. Thursday 25th August. Raison engaged Vengeance.
1796. Sunday 28th August. Topaze captured Elizabeth.
1796. Friday 9th September. Arrogant and Victorious engaged six French frigates.
1796. Friday 23rd September. Pelican engaged Medee.
1796. Thursday 13th October. Terpsichore captured Mahonesa.
1796. Monday 24th October. Sta. Margaritta captured Buonaparte.
1796. Tuesday 25th October. Sta. Magaritta captured Vengeur and prize.
1796. October - November. Corsica re-taken by the French.
1796. Wednesday 16th November. In consequence of some differences arising
with regard to the Regiments of the line doing duty as Marines in the
fleet, they were ordered to be disembarked, and many of the men were
permitted to enlist in the Marines at an additional bounty of five
guineas, and on 16th November the levy money was increased to fifteen
pounds, which allowed ten guineas and a crown bounty to each recruit,
this arrangement gave such fresh vigour to the Corps, that the
companies were soon completed to their full strength.
1796. Friday 2nd December. Crescent and Sphinx at Foul Point, Madagascar.
1796. Friday 2nd December. Hazard captured Musette.
1796. Saturday 3rd December. Lapwing captured Dedeux and destroyed Vaillante.
1796. Monday 12th December. Terpsichore captured Vestale.
1796. Monday 19th December. Minerve captured Santa Sabina.
1796. Monday 19th December. Blanche engaged Ceres.
1796. December. Theobald Wolfe Tone a leading Irish revolutionary ordered the
dispatch of a force of 14,000 French veteran troops under the Command
of General Hoche which arrived off the coast of Bantry ay in Ireland.
After eluding the Royal Navy, unremitting storms, indecisiveness of its
leaders and poor seamanship all combined to a failed landing. The
French fleet was forced to return to France. Theobald Wolfe Tone was
later to remarked, "England has had its luckiest escape since the
1796. December. Horatio Nelson had obtained the rank Commodore and was too
senior to command a ship. He was transferred to HMS Captain which
became his flag ship. The squadron he commanded covered the evacuation
of British family’s from Leghorn, Corsica and Elba.
1796. The vote for the sea service affording no extension to the Corps, an
earnest memorial was addressed to Earl Spencer and in consequence of
that application nine companies were added, with a Second-Lieutenant to
each company, which was increased to 8 Sergeants, 8 Corporals, 8
Drummers, and 113 Privates each. In November, six more companies were
added, and seven additional privates to every company, which then
consisted of 120 men. At the same time three Colonels and
Second-Commandants were added to the establishment of the corps.
1797. Sunday 8th January. Indefatigable and Amazon destroyed Droits de l'Homme.
1797. Tuesday 31st January. Andromache captured an Algerine corsair.
1797. Friday 14th February. Sir John Jervis's Victory off Cape St. Vincent.
1797. Monday 17th - 18th February. Trinidad surrendered without resistance.
1797. Tuesday 28th February. Terpsichore engaged Santissima Trinidada.
1797. Friday 17th February. The British capture Trinidad from Spain. A fleet
of 18 warships under the Command of Sir Ralph Abercromby invaded and
took the Island of Trinidad. Within a few of days the last Spanish
Governor, Don José María Chacon surrendered the island to Abercromby.
1797. Thursday 9th March. San Fiorenzo and Nymphe captured Resistance and Constance.
1797. Monday 13th March. Viper captured Virgen Maria del Carmen.
1797. Monday 13th March. Plymouth captured Amitie.
1797. Wednesday 22nd - 23rd March. Hermione destroyed vessels at Porto Rico.
1797. Wednesday 29th March. Kingfisher captured General.
1797. Saturday 1st April. Hazard captured Hardi.
1797. Thursday 6th April. Boats of Magicienne and Regulus at St. Domingo.
1797. Sunday 16th April. Thunderer and Valiant destroyed Harnionie.
1797. Thursday 20th April. Cutting out affair at Port au Paix.
1797. Wednesday 26th April. Irresistible and Emerald captured two Spanish frigates.
1797. Saturday 22nd April. Magicienne, Regulus, and Fortune at Carcasse Bay.
1797. April. A mutiny of the Royal Navy took place at Spithead off Portsmouth.
1797. Monday 3rd June - 5th July. The Bombardment and assault of the Spanish
port of Cadiz was a part of a protracted naval blockade by the British
Royal Navy, which comprised of a siege and the shelling of the city as
well as an amphibious assault on the port itself. The battle involved
Horatio Nelson and John Jervis pitted against the Spanish Jose de
Mazarredo and Fererico Gravina. It was a Spanish victory although both
sides suffered an economic loss. The British casualties amounted to one
killed and 20 wounded that included Captain Thomas Francis Fremantle, 3
boats were sunk and the Victory's launch driven ashore.
1797. Saturday 20th May. Oiseau engaged a Spanish frigate.
1797. Monday 29th May. Boats of Lively and Minerve cut out Mutine.
1797. May. A second mutiny took place at the Nore, a sand bank off the Kent coast in the Thames where the fleet usually anchored.
1797. Monday 3rd - 5th July. Cadiz bombardad by Nelson.
1797. Sunday 16th July. Anson and Sylph destroyed Calliope.
1797. July. Attack on Santa Cruz by Nelson.
1797. Thursday 6th July. Three Marines Lee, Coffy and Branham who had been
found guilty by court Marshall for attempting to excite a mutiny in
Stonehouse Barracks. While another Marine, M Gennis was convicted of a
similar crime and sentenced to 1000 lashes (although he only received
500) and then transported to Botany Bay for life. The other three were
lead out on to Plymouth Hoe and at 2.30pm on the 6th made to kneel in
front of their coffins wearing a blind fold. At a given signal the
firing squad carried out the order, and both Coffy and Branham fell
immediately, but it seems that not one shot out of the sixteen fired
had struck Lee, as he remained on his knees by the coffin. Until a
Marines discharged his musket through the front of his head. He then
fell and another musket was fired through the side of his head and he
died instantly. All four were in their thirties and of Irish decent.
Marine Lee was found to belong to the ‘United Irishmen’ organisation.
He was also an Attorney by profession and seems to have been the
conspirator, and all who joined him used to meet on the Long Room Hill
at Stonehouse to be sworn in as partakers in the plot. The ring leaders
had enlisted in to the Marines, probably with the view of spreading
disaffection in their ranks. It was also believed that the 58th
Regiment and the crews of two ships then in an insubordinate state were
A complaint (Taken from 'Britain's
Sea Soldiers: Vol 1 by Cyril Field RMLI.)
Click photo to enlarge
1797. Saturday 22nd - Tuesday 25th July. Horatio Nelson led a doomed assault
on the Spanish island Santa Cruz de Tenerife was an amphibious assault
by the Royal Navy on the Spanish port and city in the Canary Islands.
Launched by Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson the assault was defeated, and
the remains of the landing party withdrew under a truce with the loss
of several hundred casualties. Nelson himself had been wounded in the
arm, which was subsequently partially amputated: a stigma that he
carried to his grave as a constant reminder of his failure. The ship's
surgeon, James Farquhar, wrote in his journal: "Compound fracture of
the right arm by a musket ball passing through a little above the
elbow; an artery divided, the arm was immediately amputated." It is
claimed that within 30 minutes, Nelson was again issuing orders to his
men. On Tuesday 1st August Farquhar noted: "Admiral Nelson, amputated
arm, continued getting well very fast. Stump looked well; no bad
symptoms whatever occurred.” British losses were 250 dead, 128 wounded,
300 captured, many drowned and 1 cutter sunk.
1797. July. An order in Council, fixed the pay of Marines at the following rates: Sergeants. Corporals.
On board £-12-0s-10p and on shore at, £1-6s-1p.
1797. July 22nd - 24th July. Attack on Santa Cruz by Nelson.
1797. Thursday 10th August. Arethusa captured Gaite.
1797. Friday 11th August. Sylphe and consorts destroyed gunboats at Sable d'Olonne.
1797. Monday 14th August. The battle of Cape St Vincent was one of the
opening battles of the Anglo-Spanish War of 1796 to 1808, as part of
the French Revolutionary Wars. During which a British fleet under the
command of Admiral Sir John Jervis defeated a larger Spanish fleet
under Admiral Don José de Córdobay Ramos near Cape St. Vincent in
Portugal. After the battle Admiral Lord St. Vincent wrote: “A very
considerable Corps of Marines should be kept up, and I hope to see the
day when there is not another foot soldier in the kingdom, in Ireland
or in the colonies”. While Nelson also voiced his opinion: “When I
become First Lord of the Admiralty, every fleet shall have perfect
battalions of Marines, with their artillery, and commanded by
experienced field officers, they will be prepared to make a serious
impression on the enemy’s coast.” 1 Major, 1 Lieut., 1 Sergeant, and 5
rank and file killed, 21 wounded.
1797. Tuesday 15th August. Alexandrian captured Coq.
1797. Monday 21st August. Penguin captured two French brigs.
1797. Sunday 27th August. Jason and Triton captured part of a French convoy.
1797. Monday 28th August. Pomone destroyed Petit Dia'le.
1797. Sunday 17th September. Pelican destroyed Trompeur.
1797. Wednesday 4th October. Alexandrian captured Epicharis.
1797. Wednesday 11th October. The battle of Camperdown was the most
significant action between British and Dutch forces during the French
Revolutionary Wars and resulted in a complete victory for the British,
who captured eleven Dutch ships without losing any of their own.
Although they suffered 203 killed and 622 wounded. While the Dutch
suffered 540 killed, 620 wounded.
1797. Wednesday 25th October. Indefatigable captured Hyene.
1797. Sunday 12th November. Cerberus captured Epervier.
1797. Monday 13th November. Boats of fairy captured Epervier, a lugger.
1797. Tuesday 14th November. Cerberus captured Renard.
1797. Wednesday 20th December. Growler captured by two French privateers.
1797. Thursday 21st December. Phoebe captured Nereide.
1797. Friday 29th December. Anson captured Daphne.
1798 to 1799. The Fourth Anglo Mysore War was a conflict in South India between the
Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company at that time run
by the Earl of Mornington.
1798. Wednesday 3rd January. George taken by Spanish privateers.
1798. Friday 5th January. Pomone sank Cheri.
1798. Monday 8th January. Kingfisher captured Betsy
1798. Sunday 14th January. Sibylle and Fox at Caista Roads, Manilla.
1798. Yuseday 16th January. Boats of Babel captured Desiree.
1798. Monday 22nd January. Sibylle and Fox at Samboangon.
1798. Tueasday 23rd January. Melampus captured Volage.
1798. Saturday 3rd February. Speedy engaged Papillon.
1798. Friday 16th February. Boats of Alfred captured Scipion.
1798. Feb. 25. Marquis of Coburg sunk Revanche.
1798. Thursday 22nd - 23rd March. Phaeton, Canada, and Anson engaged Charente.
1798. Sunday 8th - 9th April. Diamond and Hydra in Caen River.
1798. Tuesday 17th April. Recovery captured Revanche.
1798. Saturday 21st April. Mars captured Hercule.
1798. Tuesday 24th April. Pearl engaged two French frigates.
1798. Saturday 5th May. Badger and Sandfly repulsed 52 gun brigs at Marcon.
1798. Monday 7th May. Victorieuse captured Brutus.
1798. Monday 7th May. The Defence and Battle of the Islands of St. Marcou
took place near the Cotentin peninsula on the Normandy coast of France
in May 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars. During 1795 a British
garrison was set up on the islands, which operated as a resupply base
for Royal Naval ships cruising off the coast of Northern France. Their
strength was that of 500 Marines a few sailors and 17 guns. Wanting to
remove the British presence on the islands and simultaneously test the
equipment and tactics then being developed in France for a projected
invasion of Britain, the French launched a massed amphibious assault on
the southern island using over 50 landing ships and thousands of
troops. Although significant Royal Naval forces were in the area, a
combination of wind and tide prevented them from intervening and the
island's 500-strong garrison was left to resist the attack alone. The
British suffer 1 killed and 4 wounded, while the French suffered 900
killed, 3000 wounded, 500 captured and 7 boats destroyed.
1798. Sunday 13th May. Boats of Flora cut out Mondavi,
1798. Saturday 19th May. Disembarkation at Ostend.
1798. Sunday 27th May. Plymouth (Uniform). Light Infantry Officers ordered to wear on their shoulders ‘a Bugle, Horn and wings’.
1798. Wednesday 30th - 31st May. Hydra and consorts destroyed Confiante.
1798. May to September. The Irish Rebellion was an uprising against British
rule in Ireland. The Republican Revolutionary group were heavily
influenced by the ideas of the American and French Revolutions, and
were the main organising force behind the rebellion.
1798. Saturday 16th June. Boats of Aurora destroyed two vessels.
1798. Tuesday 19th June. Aurora engaged off Adeira.
1798. Friday 22nd June. Aurora destroyed a corvette.
1798. Tuesday 26th - 27th June. Seahorse captured Sensible.
1798. Friday 29th June. Pique and Jason captured Seine.
1798. Wednesday 11th July. Boats of Regulus captured three vessels.
1798. Sunday 15th July. Lion captured Santa Dorotea.
1798. Thursday 26th July. Brilliant engaged Vertu and Regenre.
1798. Wednesdat 1st August - Friday 3rd August. The Battle of the Nile took
place. France had declared war on Britain during 1793, where upon
several Naval battles took place between the two countries. One of the
most famous victories was the battle of the Nile. The Lieutenant of
Marines in Nelson’s flagship wrote, “Fought the French fleet at anchor
off Alexandria, consisting of 13 sail of the line and several frigates,
took 10 sail of the line and burnt one three decker and one frigate and
sunk one frigate. Captain Faddy of the Marines and six privates killed
and seven wounded.” The total British losses were 218 killed and 677
wounded, while the French losses were very high and estimated at around
3 to 4000 casualties, with a further 3000 captured, 2 ships of the line
and 2 frigates were destroyed and 9 ships of the line captured.
1798. Saturday 4th August. Boats of Melpomene and Childess captured Aventurier.
1798. Tuesday 7th August. Espoir captured Liguria.
1798. Tuesday 7th August. Indefatigable captured Vaillante.
1798. Sunday 12th August. Hazard captured Neptune.
1798. Saturday 18th August. Leander captured by Gentreux.
1798. Wednesday 22nd August. Naiad and Magnanime captured Decade.
1798. Friday 7th September. Phaeton and Alison captured Flore.
1798. Friday 12th - 14th October. A larger French force consisting of 3,000 men, and
including Wolfe Tone attempted to land in County Donegal near Lough
Swilly. Later it became known as the battle of Donegal They were
intercepted by a larger Royal Naval squadron, and finally surrendered
after a three hour battle without being able to land in Ireland. It was
the last action of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The battle also brought
to an end the French trying to land soldiers in Ireland. Wolfe Tone was
tried by a court-martial in Dublin and found guilty. He asked for death
by firing squad, but when this was refused, Tone cheated the hangman by
slitting his own throat in prison on Monday 12th November, and died a
2nd September. The Siege of Malta was a two year blockade by the
British of the French occupied garrison of Valletta the largest city on
the Island. That had been captured by a French expeditionary force
during earlier during 1998. The garrison held over 3,000 men under the
command of Claude Henri Belgrand de Vaubois and was besieged for over
two years, eventually surrendering on Wednesday 2nd September 1880.
1798. Friday 12th October – Sunday 14th October. Warrens Victory Off Ireland.
Captain R. Williams of the Marines lowered a boat and took possession
of the French ship La Hoche with 50 officers of ranks on board going
to join the rebel forces in Ireland, and also the notorious Wolf
Tone, at whose subsequent trail in Dublin he was a principle witness. A
pair of large engravings of this action were published by an officer of
Marines who was present on board HMS Canada.
1798. Tuesday 16th October. Kangaroo engaged Loire.
1798. Wednesday 17th October. Mermaid engaged Loire.
1798. Thursday 18th October. Anson and Kangaroo captured Loire.
1798. Saturday 20th October. Fisgard captured Immorlalite.
1798. Wednesday 24th October. Sirius captured Furie and Waakzamheid.
1798. Sunday 28th - 29th October. Cesar and consorts engaged four French frigates.
1798. October. Malta. 300 Marines served on shore during the blockade of
Valetta under Major Weir who raised an efficient Regiment of Maltese.
Castle of Gozo occupied by Captain J. Creswell and detachment Marines.
1798. Wednesday 7th November – 14th November. The reduction of Minorca.
Captain Minto with Marines of HMS Centaur and HMS Leviathan.
1798. Monday 3rd December. Victorieuse and consorts at Trinidad.
1798. Friday 7th December. Perdrix captured Armee d'Italie.
1798. Friday 14th December. Aminscale captured by Bayonnaise.
During the disturbances that took place in various parts of the
kingdom, the loyalty of the troops was unshaken, and the example of
devotion to their Sovereign which was first shown by the Marines at
Chatham, then commanded by Lieutenant General Innes, was eagerly
followed by the soldiers of the line in that garrison. The public
journals were daily filled with the loyal resolutions of various Corps,
and the seditious designs of the secret agitators entirely frustrated.
Sergeant Pinn of the Chatham division particularly distinguished
himself upon this occasion, and as a recompense for his excellent
conduct the Lieutenant General granted him his discharge, but as this
was done without the sanction of the Board of Admiralty the general was
tried by a court martial for a breach of the Articles of War. Although
there was no positive sanction of the Board for the step he had taken,
yet it appeared in evidence that the Earl of St. Vincent, (then the
first Lord,) in a conversation with General Innes upon the subject, had
approved of the measure, consequently the court pronounced an
honourable acquittal. His Royal Highness the Duke of York, commander of
the forces, wrote to Lieutenant General Innes, expressing his high
approbation of the loyalty and example shown by the Chatham division,
and the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty also conveyed their
satisfaction of their loyalty and zeal.
Its recorded that tobacco was introduced in the navy, mostly for
chewing, but was known and used on shore long before this time.
1799. Saturday 4th January. Wolverine engaged Ruse and Furet.
1799. Sunday 3rd - 22nd February. Bulldog and Perseus bombarded Alexandria.
1799. Wednesday 6th February. Argo captured Santa Teresa.
1799. Saturday 9th February. Daedalus captured Prudente.
1799. Friday 22nd February. Espoir engaged Spanish flotilla and captured Africa.
1799. Thursday 28th February. Sybille captured Forte.
1799. February. Salerno. Marines of Zealous assisted Neapolitans to repulse 3,000 French troops.
1799. Monday 18th March. Telegraph captured Hirondelle.
1799. March - May. Tigre Theseus and Alliance at Acre.
20th March to 21st May 1799. The Defence of Acre (The Otteman Empire,
against the French and Turks). Sir Sidney Smith shelled Bonaparte
outside Saint John d'Acer, forcing him to lift the siege.
1799. Tuesday 26th March. Plymouth (Uniform). The Light Infantry Companies
where directed to wear the new round Hats Bound in Black Tape, White
Band and Looping, and Green worsted Tuft, to distinguish them from the
Battalion Companies whose hats had Black Looping and red and White
Tuffs. The grenadiers wore the same as the light Infantry, but had
White Tuffs. But the Flank Companies did not last much longer as they
were definitely abolished by an Admiralty Order of the 1st November
1797. Tuesday 30th March. Sparrow and Trent at Porto Rico.
1799. Friday 9th April. San Fiorenzo and Amelia engaged three French frigates.
1799. Tuesday 13th April. Amaranthe captured Vengeur.
1799. Tuesday 4th May. Fortune and gunboats captured by Salamine.
1799. Wednesday 12th May. Courier engaged a French privateer.
1799. Thursday 6th June. The cutting out of La Selva.
1799. Wednesday 9th June. Boats of Success cut out Belle Aurore.
1799. Saturday June 26. Alemene captured Conrageux.
1799. The strength of the Marines at that time was 22,716 men.
1799. Thursday 11th July. Naples and the siege of Port St. Elmo. 800 Marines under Colonel Strickland.
1799. Sunday 18th July. Alemene and boats captured two Spanish vessels.
1799. Monday 29th July – 4th August. The taking of Capua and Gaeta.
1799. Monday 9th August. Speedy and boats captured Spanish armed vessel.
1799. Wednesday 11th - 12th August. Attack on Schiermonikoog.
1799. Friday 13th - 30th August. Operations in the Texel.
1799. Saturday 14th August. Fox, Dadalus and boats destroyed Kosseir.
1799. Thursday 19th August. Surinam taken.
1799. Friday 20th August. Clyde captured Vestale.
1799. Thursday 26th August. Tamar captured Republicaine.
1799. Monday 13th September. Arrow and Wolverine captured Draak and Gier.
1799. Monday 20th September. Camel and Rattlesnake engaged Freueuse.
2nd October. The battle of Alkmaar was fought between forces of the
French Republic and her ally, the Batavian Republic under the command
of general Guillaume Marie Anne Brune, and an expeditionary force from
Great Britain and her ally Russia, commanded by Prince Frederick, Duke
of York and Albany in the vicinity of Alkmaar during the Anglo-Russian
Invasion of Holland. Although the battle ended in a tactical draw, the
Anglo-Russians were in a position at the end of the battle that
favoured them slightly in a strategic sense. This prompted Brune to
order a strategic withdrawal the next day to a line between
Monnickendam in the East and Castricum in the West. There the final
battle of the campaign would take place on Sunday 6th October.
1799. Sunday 3rd October. Speedy chased Spanish coasters on shore.
1799. Tuesday 5th October. Ferret engaged Spanish privateer.
1799. Sunday 10th - 11th October. Jupiter engaged Prencuse.
1799. Friday 11th October. The defence of Lemmer Town, West Friesland. The
garrison consisted of 157 Seamen and Marines. At 5 am a small advance
party of French and Batavians attempted to storm the north Battery.
They were entrapped between two fires surrounded by the seamen armed
with pikes and surrendered. The main body of the enemy 670 strong soon
after assaulted the village, but after a sharp fight of four hours and
a half were driven off with a loss of 5 and 11 wounded. The officers
present 1st Lieut. Marmaduke WY bourn and L2nd Lieuts. J. Howell, Jas.
Higginson and Rd. Gardner.
1799. Tuesday 12th October. Trincomalee engaged Iphigenie and both sank.
1799. Friday 15th October. Ethalion captured Thetis.
1799. Sunday 17th October. Boats of Echo cut out Buonaparte.
1799. Sunday 17th October. Triton and consorts captured Santa Brigida.
1799. Wednesday 20th October. Cerberus engaged five Spanish frigates.
1799. Sunday 24th October. Orpheus captured Zeelast and Zeevraght.
1799. Monday 25th October. Boats of Surprise cut out Hermione.
1799. Friday 29th - 31st October. Boats of Tigre engaged off Damietta.
1799. Saturday 6th November. Speedy engaged twelve Spanish vessels.
1799. Monday 22nd November. Courier captured Guerriere.
1799. Wednesday 24th November. Solebay captured Egyptienne and three others.
1799. Friday 3rd December. Racoon captured Intrepide.
1799. Saturday 11th December. Tremendous and Adamant destroyed Preneuse.
1799. Friday 17th December. Amiable engaged Sirene and Bergere.
1799. Monday 20th December. Boats of Queen Charlotte re-captured Lady Nelson.
1799. Friday 24th - 30th December. Tigre took El Arisch.
1799. Sunday 26th December. Viper captured Furet.