The capture of Saint Paul near the Isle de Bourbon, 21 September 1809

In September 1809 the British attacked the French on Reunion. They disembarked their troops five miles to the north of St Paul. They took the town and turned the guns in the batteries on the shipping in the bay. All of them cut their cables and drifted ashore. At the same time Sir Josias Rowley, captain of the ‘Reasonable’ appeared in the Bay with the rest of his squadron and secured the French shipping. He also refloated the three that had gone ashore. On the 23 September it was arranged with the French that they should surrender all public property and on the 28 September the British withdrew.

Right of centre is the ‘Reasonable’ with the ‘Otter’ to starboard of her. A frigate is astern of her on the opposite tack while a second is in the right of the picture, followed by the schooner. In the left background is the bay of St Paul with the French shipping at anchor, including the two captured Indiamen and the frigate ‘Caroline’ which shown in action with the ‘Sirius’. Across the background is the island of Reunion, formerly called Bourbon. The painting is signed and dated 1812.

Object Details

ID: BHC0593
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Whitcombe, Thomas
Places: Saint Paul
Events: Napoleonic Wars: Capture of Saint Paul, 1809
Date made: 1812
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Frame: 835 mm x 1165 mm x 88 mm;Painting: 660 mm x 978 mm

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