Battle of Hudson's Bay

Battle of Hudson's Bay

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{{For|the 1782 raid by [[Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse]]|Hudson Bay Expedition}} {{Campaignbox King William's War}} The '''Battle of Hudson's Bay''', also known as the '''Battle of York Factory''', was a naval battle fought during the [[Nine Years' War|War of the Grand Alliance]] (known in the North American colonies as "[[King William's War]]"). The battle took place on 5 September 1697, when a French warship commanded by [[Captain (naval)|Captain]] [[Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville]] defeated an [[Kingdom of England|English]] squadron commanded by Captain John Fletcher. As a result of this battle, the French took [[York Factory, Manitoba|York Factory]], a trading post of the [[Hudson's Bay Company]]. For other fighting in the region see [[Anglo-French conflicts on Hudson Bay]]. ==Prelude== [[File:Le pélican.jpg|thumb|left|Replica of the Pélican.]] D'Iberville's flagship, the ''[[French ship Pélican (1693)|Pélican]]'' (44-guns), was part of a larger French squadron dispatched to contest English control of Hudson Bay. Before the battle, the ''Pélican'' became separated from the rest of the French squadron in heavy fog, but D'Iberville elected to forge ahead. This set the stage for a little-known but spectacular single-ship action against heavy odds. As the ''Pélican'' sailed south into clearer weather, she approached the trading post of York Factory, and a group of soldiers went ashore to scout out the fort. Captain D'Iberville remained on board the ''Pélican''. While the shore party was scouting the fort, D'Iberville saw the sails and masts of approaching ships. Thinking the rest of his squadron had arrived, he set off to meet them. In short order, D'Iberville realized that the ships were not French, but were, instead, an English squadron comprising the warship {{HMS|Hampshire|1653|2}} (56 guns) and two armed merchantmen, the ''Dering'' (36 guns) and the ''Hudson's Bay'' (32 guns). ==The battle== D'Iberville, his shore party out of reach, elected to give battle. The battle began as a running fight, but after two and a half hours, D'Iberville closed with the English and a brutal broadside-to-broadside engagement took place between the ''Pélican'' and the ''Hampshire''. The English seemed to be gaining the upper hand with blood running from the scuppers of the ''Pélican'' into the water. Captain Fletcher demanded that D'Iberville surrender, but D'Iberville refused. Fletcher is reported to have raised a glass of wine to toast D'Iberville's bravery when the next broadside from the ''Pélican'' detonated the ''Hampshire's'' powder magazine. The ''Hampshire'' exploded and sank. ==Aftermath== The ''Hudson's Bay'' and the ''Dering'' seem to have played only a limited supporting role in the final stage of the engagement. The ''Hudson's Bay'' was damaged and struck its colors to ''Pélican'' after the ''Hampshire'' blew up. ''Dering'' broke off the engagement and fled, but the ''Pélican'' was too badly damaged to pursue. The ''Pélican'' was also fatally damaged in the battle. Holed below the waterline, the ''Pélican'' had to be abandoned, but the arrival of the remainder of the French squadron shortly thereafter led to the surrender of York Factory on September 13, 1697, and the continuation of D'Iberville's remarkable career. ==External links== *[http://www.biographi.ca/EN/ShowBio.asp?BioId=35062 Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville in Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online] {{coord missing|Manitoba}} {{DEFAULTSORT:Hudsons Bay (1697)}}