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Incidents
Bellona Fights Mary





North Carolina Privateer Brig Bellona Fights the Mary of London
[15 June] 1778



North Carolina Privateer Brig Bellona (Commander [Sylvanus] Pendleton) was at sea in early or mid-1778, probably on her first cruise. Bellona was armed with sixteen guns, and had a crew of about seventy men aboard when she sailed from New Bern, North Carolina. She was said to be an especially swift vessel and took two prizes.1


Perhaps about June 1778 Bellona met the British vessel Mary, sailing out of London, England. An action followed, about which nothing is known. The only eyewitness account was by one Daniel McCarthy, who alluded to it in a petition sent to the North Carolina legislature in 1789. On 9 November 1789 the petition was read to the General Assembly. McCarthy claimed that he had “ . . . received in the late War on board the Bellona Brig of War in an engagement with the Mary of London, which deprived him of his eyesight.” The General Assembly “endorsed read and that au allowance be made to him in consequence . . .” However, a Committee of the House recommended  “that as no provision appears to have been made by Law for the maintenance of seamen disabled on board of private vessels and as the Bellona at the time of the engagement aforesaid was neither in service of this State or the United States, the petition was rejected.”2


It is not known if the Mary escaped or was captured.


Summary Table

Vessel

Tons

Guns

Broadside

Men

Killed

%

Wounded

%

Total

%

Bellona

16

[70]

1

1%

1

1%

Mary



1 The Pennsylvania Evening Post [Philadelphia], Friday, October 23, 1778, datelined Baltimore, October 6; Kell, Jean Bruyere (ed.), North Carolina's Coastal Cartaret County During the American Revolution 1765-1785, ERA Press: Greenville, North Carolina, 1975, p. 68

2 O’Brein. Michael J., The McCarthys In Early American History, Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, 1921, 120 .[http://mccarthy.montana.com/Articles/EarlyAmericanHistory2.html]


Posted 22 March 2011 © awiatsea.com





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