In the spring of 1747, France sent a convoy of 30 merchantmen to bring reinforcements and supplies to its beleaguered troops in North America. The War of the Austrian Succession was not going well for France, and its possessions in Canada were under threat. The convoy left in secret, escorted by a naval force that included four ships-of-the-line. Unfortunately for the French, word had leaked to the British, and a squadron from the Channel Fleet had been dispatched to intercept the convoy. On 14 May, the two forces met off Cape Finisterre in Spain. The French warships fought bravely to protect their charges, but badly outnumbered, they were defeated decisively.
The 74—the Perfect Age-of-Sail Ship
By Philip K. Allan