Action of 18 November, 1809

Windham leads a convoy of East Indiamen out from St. Helena, under the protection of HMS Monmouth, c.1808. Engraving by John Collins, published April, 1809. Original in the collections of the Royal Museums, Greenwich.

Location Bay of Bengal

On 18 November, 1809, a squadron of three French ships ran into a small convoy of the British East India Company in the Indian Ocean. The French had the frigates Vénus (40 guns) and Manche (40), and the brig Créole (10). On the EIC side were the Windham (26), United Kingdom, and Charlton (the last two of similar armament to Windham). Badly outclassed, the EIC commander, John Stewart, attempted to concentrate his squadron on Manche which was some distance apart from her companions. However, only Windham made the attempt, resulting in a largely one-sided fight between her and Manche. Eventually, Manch and Créole wandered off to capture United Kingdom and Charlton, both of which surrendered without a fight. Vénus then engaged in a lengthy chase of Windham, which did not end until 22 November, when Windham finally surrendered. Windham was recaptured by HMS Magicienne a month later, before she could be brought into port by her prize crew.