Basque Roads

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Basque Roads
Royal Navy White Ensign 1750 to 1799.gif
CountryFlag of Great Britain 1707 to 1801.png Great Britain
BranchRoyal Navy White Ensign 1750 to 1799.gif Royal Navy
FirstCommodore Sir Thomas Stanhope
LastCommodore Peter Denis

The Basque Roads was a naval command of the Royal Navy established in the 18th century. It was commanded by the Commander-in-Chief, Basque Roads.[1]


Basque Roads, sometimes referred to as Aix Roads, is a roadstead (a sheltered bay) on the Bay of Biscay shore of the Charente-Maritime département of France, bounded by the Ile d'Oleron to the west and the Ile de Re to the north. The port of La Rochelle stands at the northeast corner of the roads. It was the location of a failed British Attack on Rochefort in 1757 during the Seven Years' War.

The British established a temporary permanent detached squadron of naval forces at Basque Roads in January 1762 with Commodore Lord Richard Howe, 4th Viscount Howe appointed commander-in -chief of the Basque Roads Squadron. Commodore Peter Denis was the final station commander in chief from May 1762 until February 1763.[2][3]

Basque Roads was the location of an attack by HMS Unicorn and HMS St Fiorenzo on a Spanish squadron on 2 July 1799, and of the final surrender of Napoleon Bonaparte on HMS Bellerophon on 15 July 1815. It was also the site of the British naval victory over a French fleet at the 1809 Battle of Basque Road.

In Command

Commander-in-Chief, Basque Roads

  1. Commodore Sir Thomas Stanhope January, 1762 – 27 February, 1762.[4]
  2. Commodore Lord Richard Howe, 4th Viscount Howe, 27 February, 1762 – 10 May, 1762.[5]
  3. Commodore Peter Denis, 1st Baronet of St Mary's, 10 May, 1762 – February, 1763.[6]


  1. Harrison, Simon (2010–2020). "Commander-in-Chief at Basque Roads". Cy Harrison. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  2. Force, Peter; Clarke, Matthew St Clair (1843). American Archives: Consisting of a Collection of Authentick Records, State Papers, Debates, and Letters and Other Notices of Publick Affairs, the Whole Forming a Documentary History of the Origin and Progress of the North American Colonies; of the Causes and Accomplishment of the American Revolution; and of the Constitution of Government for the United States, to the Final Ratification Thereof. In Six Series ... Washington: United States. Congress. p. 379.
  3. Cy Harrison
  4. Burney, William (1806). The Naval Heroes of Great Britain; Or, Accounts of the Lives and Actions of the Distinguished Admirals and Commanders who Have Contributed to Confer on Great-Britain the Empire of the Ocean. [With Portraits and Maps.]. Gosport: Richard Phillips. p. 315.
  5. Cy Harrison
  6. Cy Harrison