Benbow, John (bĕnˈbō) [key], 1653–1702, English admiral. Some of the stories of his exploits seem to be legendary, but he did command the fleet and successfully fight the French at La Hogue (1692), Saint-Malo (1693), and Dunkirk (1696) and the Spanish in the West Indies (1698). In 1702 he engaged in a four-day running fight with a French fleet in the Caribbean off Santa Marta. During this battle his flagship, the Breda, was deserted by all but one of his fleet, and Benbow himself was fatally wounded. Two of the disobedient captains were later court-martialed and shot.
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