Lowestoffe & Dido vs. Minerve & Artémise, 24th June 1795
HMS Lowestoffe, a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate under Captain Robert Middleton was sent together with the 28-gun HMS Dido under Captain George Henry Towry, to investigate the French fleet at Toulon. On 24 June 1795 the two British frigates encountered two French frigates, the 40-gun Minerve and the 36-gun Artémise.
When the French realised that they were stronger than the British vessels, they manoeuvred to attack. As the Minerve attempted to run down the Dido, the Dido turned to avoid the impact and the Minerve's bowsprit became entangled in the Dido's rigging. This contact cost the Dido her mizzenmast and colours.
The Lowestoffe came along the port side of Minerve firing her broadside. This destroyed the Minerve's foremast and topmasts, effectively crippling her. The Lowestoffe then proceeded to pursue the retreating Artémise. The Artémise, however, eventually escaped.
The Lowestoffe returned to the Minerve, firing on her again until she struck her colours.
by Robert Phillips, Canvey Island, September 2013
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