World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Shirley's Gold Coast expedition

Article Id: WHEBN0026341166
Reproduction Date:

Title: Shirley's Gold Coast expedition  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Siege of Negapatam, Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, Battle of Suriname, American Revolutionary War, List of conflicts in Ghana
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Shirley's Gold Coast expedition

In 1781, Dutch colonial outposts on the Gold Coast of Africa (present-day Ghana). Captain Thomas Shirley led the expedition, commanding HMS Leander and several transports carrying two small regiments of independently raised troops under the command of Captain Kenneth Mackenzie of the 78th Foot.[1]


Battle of Elmina

The expedition sailed late in 1781, and arrived off the coast of Africa in January 1782. Pursuant to orders, Shirley first stopped at the primary British outpost of Cape Coast Castle on 5 February, where plans were developed to take the principal Dutch castle at Elmina by land while Leander made a diversionary attack on the nearby St. Jago castle. The expedition arrived at Elmina on 15 February, but high surf prevented the 500 troops from landing until 18 February, and contrary winds prevented Leander from coming close enough to shore to bring its guns to bear on the forts until 20 February. On that day, Shirley raised the agreed signal flag indicating the beginning of his attack, and opened fire on St. Jago shortly after noon. The ship and the fort exchanged fire until dark, and resumed again the next morning, when the land attack on the Elmina Castle began. Fire from both Elmina and St. Jago was directed at Mackenzie's attacking force, which Shirley reported to "retreat very fast".[2] After it became clear the attack had failed, Shirley ceased fire around 11:30 am.

Other forts on the Gold Coast

Over the next several weeks the expedition seized, with minimal resistance, four small Dutch forts: Mouri (Fort Nassau - 20 guns), Kormantin (Courmantyne or Fort Amsterdam - 32 guns), Apam (Fort Lijdzaamheid or Fort Patience - 22 guns), Senya Beraku (Fort Goede Hoop - 18 guns), and Accra (Fort Crêvecoeur - 32 guns).[3]

Leaving those facilities garrisoned with personnel from Cape Coast, Shirley then sailed for the West Indies. Near the African coast off present-day Senegal, he captured and destroyed and French store-ship Officeuse, supposed to be worth £30,000.[4] before crossing the Atlantic to join the British West Indies fleet.[5]

Shirley sent two sets of dispatches back to Britain. One set went in the transport sloop Ulysses, which was under the command of Captain Frodsham. The French frigate Fée captured Ulysses and took her into Brest, but not before her captain had weighted the dispatches and thrown them overboard. Shirley's first lieutenant, Mr. Van court, took the second set in the transport cartel Mackerel, which also carried the Dutch governors of the forts to Europe.[4]


  1. ^ Crooks, p. 47
  2. ^ Crooks, p. 55
  3. ^ Crooks (1973), pp.51 and 62.
  4. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 12312. p. 4. 9 July 1782.
  5. ^ Crooks (1973), p. 62.


  • Crooks, John Joseph (1973) Records Relating to the Gold Coast Settlements from 1750 To 1874. (London: Taylor & Francis), pp.51 and 62. ISBN 978-0-7146-1647-6 [1]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.