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Vengeance Captures Defiance





Massachusetts Privateer Brig Vengeance Captures British Privateer Brig Defiance
[15] October 1778



The 350 to 400-ton1 Massachusetts Privateer Brig2 Vengeance (Commander Wingate Newman)3 was an eighteen4 or twenty5 gun brig, manned by one hundred men.6 Another source indicates she was armed with twenty 6-pounders.7 Vengeance was operating in European waters, off the coast of Spain, in the fall of 1778.8


Vengeance was at sea in October 1778. She encountered the British Privateer Brig Defiance. Defiance was armed with fourteen guns and had a crew of seventy-two men aboard. An unusually tough fight followed before Vengeance forced the British to surrender. Newman lost eight men killed and wounded, the British lost fifteen killed and wounded.9

Summary Table

Vessel

Tons

Guns

Broadside

Men

Killed

%

Wounded

%

Total

%

Vengeance

350

20

60

100

[3]

3%

[5]

5%

8

8%

Defiance

14

72

[7]

10%

[8]

11%

15

21%

Time: 20 minutes



1 Blake, Euphemia Vale, History of Newburyport; from the Earliest Settlement of the Country to the Present Time with a Biographical Appendix, Press of Dambell and Moore, Newburyport: 1854, 116

2 Maclay, American Privateers, 117; Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 359; Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 314; Claghorn, Naval Officers of the American Revolution, 308, refers to her as a ship; 219, as a brig; Howe, Beverly Privateers in the Revolution, 425, as a ship. Her commander, Wingate Newman, referred to her as a brig. The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal, Monday, January 11, 1779, in a letter from Newman dated 4 October 1778.

3 Maclay, American Privateers, 117; Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 359; The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal, Monday, January 11, 1779

4 Maclay, American Privateers, 117

5 Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, i, 359; The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal, Monday, January 11, 1779

6 Maclay, History of American Privateers, 117

7 The Pennsylvania Magazine of History or Biography, XIV, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia: 1890, 93, from The London Chronicle, October 22-24, 1778

8 Blake, History of Newburyport, 117, from Surgeon Samuel Nye’s Journal

9 The Pennsylvania Magazine of History or Biography, XIV, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia: 1890, 93, from The London Chronicle, October 22-24, 1778


Posted 10 November 2010 © awiatsea.com