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Description

Tracking A French Pirate in the Irish Sea

Interesting sea chart of Ireland and western England, illustrating the adventures of Francois Thurot during the Seven Years War.

An area in St. George's Channel is labeled The Nymph Bank.

A tiny fleet of ships is located between the Isle of Man and Belfast.

Francois Thurot

François Thurot (1727-1760) was a French privateer, merchant naval captain and smuggler who terrorized British shipping in the early part of the Seven Years' War.

During the Seven Years War, Thurot engaged in a successful campaign against British Merchant vessels, until he met his demise off the Coast of the Isle of Man in 1760.  Three British ships caught up with Thurot's squadron in 1760, anchored at the entrance of Luce Bay. To avoid being trapped in the bay, Thurot's squadron set sail for the south-east, towards the Isle of Man. At about sunrise the leader of the British squadron, Aeolus caught up with the Maréchal de Belle-Isle and battle began. After the first broadsides, Thurot tried unsuccessfully to grapple Aeolus so he could use his troops to board. Next Aeolus fired a second broadside, and neatly fell back so that the other two Royal Navy vessels could also fire at the Belle-Isle. Then Aeolus resumed the fight, while Pallas and Brilliant went to deal with the remaining French vessels, one of which, Terpsichore attempted to escape but was easily caught by Pallas.

Thurot was killed about the time of the second broadside, apparently by a musket-ball, and after a boarding party eventually got aboard, his crew surrendered. 

John Gibson Biography

John Gibson flourished in London from 1748 to 1773. He was most likely born ca. 1724. As a young man he was apprenticed to John Blunbell of the Stationers Company, and then to John Pine. He was made free of the Company in 1748. Gibson proved a talented geographer and engraver who produced numerous maps, especially for books and magazines. He worked in collaboration with other map sellers such as Emanuel Bowen and John Roque. His best-known work was the pocket atlas, The Atlas Minimus (1758). Although little is known about his life beyond his publications, he was imprisoned for debt in King’s Bench from May to June of 1765.