Military Wiki
Action of 20 November 1779
Part of the American Revolutionary War
Date20 November 1779
Locationoff Lisbon, Atlantic
Result British victory
 Kingdom of Great Britain Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders
Elliot Salter unknown
1 Fifth-rate frigate HMS Hussar 1 ship of the line Nuestra Señora del Buen Confeso
Casualties and losses
4 killed & 10 wounded 1 ship of the line captured
38 Killed or wounded
90 captured[1]

The Acton of 20 November 1779 was a minor naval engagement of the European theater of the American Revolutionary War that took place in the Atlantic. It was fought between a 50-gun Royal Naval ship against a Spanish navy 64-gun ship though armed en flute.[2]

On November 19, 1779, HMS Hussar of 28 guns, under Captain Elliot Salter, was in company with HMS Chatham of 50 guns. They were convoying trade from Lisbon back to England when they saw a two-decked ship standing out of the convoy, and at once gave chase. Hussar came up with the ship the next day and, on observing the Spanish flag being hoisted, Salter gave the order to attack.[1] Hussar came alongside the Spanish ship and opened fire and, having the weather gage, was able to rake the ship. After a number of broadsides and realizing resistance was useless, the Spaniard struck after nearly 45 minutes of action.[1] The Spanish ship was the Nuestra Senora del Buen Confeso, armed en flute, and mounting only 26 twelve-pounders, though pierced for 64 guns and had a crew of 120 sailors and marines. Confeso had 27 men killed and eight wounded with the rest captured; whilst the Hussar had four killed and ten wounded.[2]

Buen Confeso carried a valuable cargo consisting of copper, pewter, cocoa, Jesuit's bark, minerals and private goods, all of which were taken by the British back to England.[2]



  • Allen, Joseph (1852). Battles of the British Navy, Volume 1. Bohn's illustrated library. ASIN B009ZMMQ56. 
  • Clowes, William Laird (2003). The Royal Navy: v. 4: A History - From the Earliest Times to 1900. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1861760128. 

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