Database:   Alfred - Ariadne, Ceres  

Alfred - Ariadne, Ceres.

Other names:

What: 9 March 1778. Capt. Elisha Hinman Alfred 20 vs. *Capt. Pringle Ariadne 20, Ceres 16.

Where: 16.5165, -55.6664, Alfred - Ariadne, Ceres, 9 March 1778

Maps: [map notes]


  • Boatner: Not found.

  • Gardner W. Allen, Archive A Naval History Of The American Revolution, Boston, Houghton, 1913, Chapter IX.

    "The Raleigh and Alfred sailed for the West Indies by way of the coast of Africa, and captured a British vessel off Senegal. By March 9, 1778, according to Captain Thompson's report, they had reached latitude 16 31' north, longitude 55 40' west, [Basis of site location]and at Six A.M. two Sail to the west northwest were seen from the Raleigh."
    d"The Alfred at first seemed to gain on the British, "but in a few minutes the two got up and began a furious fire, which was return'd by the Alfred as fast as they could. Just as we had got studdingsails hoisted we had the mortification to see the Alfred haul down her colours. It was then one o'clock; the firing lasted about ten minutes. We were then within three miles of the ships."
    "These British ships were the Ariadne, 20, and the Ceres, 16. Captain Pringle of the Ariadne reported to Admiral Young: "The two strangers at first shewed a disposition to attack us, but in consequence of the King's ships having brought the stern-most to close action about noon, the other made off. The ship in action, after having given to and received from the Ariadne and Ceres some broadsides, struck; and proved to be the rebel ship Alfred, of 20 nine-pounders and 180 men. Her consort was the Raleigh of 82 guns." (London Chronicle, May 26,1778; Almon, vi, 144; Brit. Adm. Rec., Captains' Logs, No. 4141 (log of the Ceres.)"

  • Google Gardner W. Allen, A Naval History Of The American Revolution, Boston, Houghton, 1913, Chapter IX, pp. 301-302. Same book as above. Provides full-text search.

  • "Alfred, Continental Navy Ship"
    Captain Elisha Hinman became Alfred's commanding officer in May 1777, but she did not get underway until 22 August when she sailed for France with Raleigh to obtain military supplies. En route, they captured four small prizes. They reached L'Orient on 6 October, and on 29 December sailed for America. They proceeded via the coast of Africa, where they took a small sloop, and then headed for the West Indies, hoping to add to their score before turning northward for home.

    On 9 March 1778, near Barbados, they encountered British warships Ariadne and Ceres. When the American ships attempted to flee, Alfred fell behind her faster consort. Shortly after noon the British men-of-war caught up with Alfred and forced her to surrender after a half an hour's battle.

  • "History of Continental Navy Frigate Raleigh":
    "Then sailing on to France, Raleigh and Alfred took on military stores and on 29 December sailed from L'Orient. Following the northeast tradewinds, they swung down off the coast of Africa, thence, after capturing a British vessel off Senegal, crossed the Atlantic to the West Indies. There, in the Lesser Antilles on 9 March 1778, Alfred, some distance from Raleigh, was captured by the British ships Ariadne (20) and Ceres (16). Raleigh, unable to reach Alfred in time to assist her, continued north and returned to New England early in April."

  • Archive "Naval Battles 1776-1800", map. Somewhat southeast of location shown. Former basis of site location.

  • "Sailing Navies: Chronology - 1775 to 1799". "9 Mar 1778. British ships Ariadne, 20, and Ceres, 14, capture the Continental Navy ship Alfred, 24, off Barbados."

  • Maps: Central America and the Caribbean

  • RevWar75   online listing 3/7 - 8/1778, Barbados, West Indies, naval action, British victory.

    Related sites: Alfred-Glasgow

    Confidence level: 2