Battle of Frigate Bay

The battle of Frigate Bay was one of the names given to the Battle of St. Kitts in 1782. This 1784 painting can be seen at Royal Museums Greenwich.

The Battle of Frigate Bay was an action during the American Revolutionary War. Also known as the battle of St Kitts, it took place between a British fleet under Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood and a larger and more superior French fleet under the Comte de Grasse. The French attacked the British islands of St Kitts and Nevis in January 1782. Despite Hood's daring actions he was unable to save the island from surrendering to the French. Pocock's account was painted two years after the action. On the left is one of the anchored British fleet, the 'Alfred'. The configuration of other anchored ships shows an 'L' formation with Hood's flagship, the 'Barfleur', at the apex. In the centre foreground a French two-decker has broken off from the action and is astern of another which is in action but is coming to the end of the English line. On the right are two more French ships and beyond them in the background another is about to join the action. There is a small engraving after Pocock showing the action as seen from St Kitts, as well as a pair of contemporary drawings by an unknown artist, showing a bird's eye view of Hood displacing the French to occupy their anchorage temporarily. It is signed and dated 'N Pocock 1784'.

St Christopher

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by Stephen Luscombe