Action of 14 September 1779

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HMS Pearl and the Santa Monica, 14 September 1779 by Thomas Whitcombe

The Action of 14 September 1779 was a minor naval engagement between a British Royal Naval frigate HMS Pearl and a Spanish frigate Santa Mónica off the Azores during the Anglo-Spanish War.[2]

The Spanish Navy had been patrolling the Azores since July with a small squadron of ships under of Lt. Gen. Don Antonio de Ulloa, with his flagship Fenix, ships of the line Gallardo, Diligent and San Julián, and the frigates Santa Maria and Santa Mónica.[1]

On 14 September, the British 32-gun frigate HMS Pearl, Captain George Montagu while cruising off the Azores in the early hours of the morning chased a large ship which turned out to be the Spanish 28 gun frigate Santa Mónica under the command of Don Miguel de Nunes.[1]

At 09:30am, Pearl caught up with the ship and commenced action. After fighting for two hours, the Santa Mónica becoming severely damaged and having had 38 men killed and 45 wounded, struck her colours. The Santa Mónica was a new ship, mounting 26 long 12-pounders on her main deck, and two four pounders on her quarter-deck, with a crew of 271 men.[1] Santa Mónica in addition exceeded the Pearl in point of tonnage. The Pearl was little damaged except to her rigging and suffered a loss of 12 men killed and 19 wounded. Ulloa was acquitted in a court martial back in Cadiz in October back because of the loss of the Santa Mónica.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Nichols, John (1830). The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 147. R. Newton. pp. 82–83. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Winfield p 196-97
  • Beatson, Robert (1804). Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain, From 1727 to 1783. 6. Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme. 
  • Winfield, Rif (2007). British Warships of the Age of Sail 1714–1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-295-X. 
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