Action of 2 May 1707


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The Action of 2 May 1707, also known as Beachy Head, was a naval battle of the War of the Spanish Succession in which a French squadron under Claude de Forbin, intercepted a large British convoy escorted by three ships of the line, under Commodore Baron Wylde. The Action began when 3 French ships, the Grifon, Blackoal and Dauphine, grappled the HMS Hampton Court, killing her captain, George Clements, and taking her. Claude Forbin's 60-gun Mars next attacked the HMS Grafton and, when joined by the French ships Blackoal and Fidèle, killed his Captain Edward Acton, and took her too. The convoy was scattered and the last British escort, the HMS Royal Oak, badly hit and with 12 feet of water in her wells, managed to escape by running ashore near Dungeness, from where she was carried the next day into the Downs.


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