A French convoy was intercepted off Martinique by the Royal Navy squadron of Rear Admiral Richard Hughes on 6 December 1782. One of his ships, the 64-gun HMS Ruby captained by John Collins, sighted the 1,521 ton French ship Solitaire of 64 guns under the command of Jean-Charles de Borda. Collins gave chase and eventually caught up and intercepted the Solitaire. After nearly forty minutes of action the Solitaire had her mizzenmast shot away, her rigging and sails in tatters and was becoming dead in the water when Borda decided to strike her colours. The Solitaire had 35 men killed and 55 wounded whilst the Ruby had only two men wounded.
Captain John Collins was knighted for his action. The Solitaire enter the Royal Navy as HMS Solitaire and remained in service until 1790, when she was sold out of the navy. Jean-Charles de Borda, although captured along with his entire crew, was shortly released and returned as an engineer in the French Navy. He later achieved fame as a mathematician, physicist and political scientist.
- "Caribbean: Events". http://www.louvre.freebase.com. http://www.louvre.freebase.com/view/en/caribbean/-/location/location/events. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Thread: On This Day 6 December". http://sailsofglory.org/. http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.php?691-On-This-Day-6-December. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Allen, Joseph (1852). Battles of the British Navy. London: Henry Bohn. pp. 349–350. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=PVE2AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA350&dq=Solitaire#PPA350,M1.
- Marley, David. Wars of the Americas: a chronology of armed conflict in the New World, 1492 to the Present. ABC-Clio, 1998.
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