Popham's Capture of Cape Town.

Copy of a Letter from Commodore Sir Home Popham to William Marsden, Esq.; Dated on board His Majesty's Ship Diadem, Table-bay, March 4, 1806.


I beg you will do me the honour to inform my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that, at nine this morning, a ship was discovered coming from the southward under a press of sail, and, soon after, two more; one of which the station on the Lion Rump reported to be of the line, and an enemy ship, upon which I directed the Diomede and Leda to slip, and keep on the edge of the South Easter, which had partially set it on the east of the bay.

At eleven the headmost ship hoisted French colours, and stood towards the Diadem; and, by this tie, I was satisfied, from the judicious manœuvres of the ships in the offing, that they could be no other than the Raisonable and the Narcissus.

At twelve the French frigate passed within hail of the Diadem, when we changed our colours from Dutch to English, and directed her to strike, which she very properly did immediately, and I sent the Honourable Captain Percy, who was serving with me as a volounteer, to take possession of her. She proved to be la Volontaire; is nearly eleven hundred tons, and mounts 46 guns, with a complement of 360 men on board.

I congratulate their Lordships that, by this capture, detachments of the Queen's and 54th regiments, consisting of 217 men, who were taken in two transports in the Bay of Biscay, are restored to His Majesty's service.

I have the honor to be, &c.


Naval Chronicle, Vol. 15 (1806), p 437.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.