Military Wiki
Action of 2 September 1781
Part of the American Revolutionary War
Date2 September 1781
LocationCape Ann
Result British victory
 Kingdom of Great Britain  Kingdom of France
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Great Britain Andrew Snape Douglas Kingdom of France Chevalier Bouchetierre
1 Frigate 1 Frigate
Casualties and losses
1 killed & 1 wounded Magicienne captured
32 killed & 54 wounded[1]

The Action of 2 September 1781 was a minor a naval engagement fought off Cape Ann during the American War of Independence; HMS Chatham captured the French frigate Magicienne after a fight of a few hours.[2]

On the 2nd September the British fifty gun fourth rate HMS Chatham under Captain Andrew Snape Douglas while cruising off Cape Ann near Boston Bay spotted the French frigate Magicienne. The Magicienne was a thirty six gun 800 ton frigate that was serving in comte d'Orvilliers fleet and was commanded by the Chevalier Bouchetierre with 280 men.[3]

Douglas ordered action stations and the Chatham hove to and after a few hours chase then opened the action; she overtook the French frigate. After an hours action the Chatham got the better off French and Magicienne soon struck.[4]

The Chatham had only one man killed and one wounded. Losses on the Magicienne were heavy; 32 killed and 54 wounded with the rest being taken prisoner. She was subsequently taken to Halifax and recommissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Magicienne.[5]

The action that thwarted a planned French assault on British ships in the St John River.[3]



  • 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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