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The Cutting-Out of the French Corvette 'La Chevrette'

Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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The cutting-out of 'La Chevrette' was a once-famous incident in the wars against Napoleon. Britain feared invasion and the capture of this heavily armed corvette was a tremendous boost to British morale. How could the French invade if they couldn't even protect their own ships in their own harbours? The action itself was heroic, bloody and strategically unnecessary. Four British frigates were watching the enemy fleet at the entrance to Brest Harbour, Brittany. One night their boats, manned by volunteers and with oars muffled, set out to board 'La Chevrette' but the French were armed and waiting. After a fierce battle the smaller British force captured the ship, her captain was killed in one-to-one combat and 'La Chevrette' taken in triumph to Plymouth.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery





oil on canvas


H 152 x W 165 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Charles Bowles Hare, 1911

Work type



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