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    Default The Battle of the Basque Roads

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    Also known as the Battle of Aix Roads (French: Bataille de l'île d'Aix, also Affaire des brûlots, rarely Bataille de la rade des Basques), was a major naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars, fought in the narrow Basque Roads at the mouth of the Charente River on the Biscay coast of France. The battle, which lasted from 11–24 April 1809, was unusual in that it pitted a hastily-assembled squadron of small and unorthodox British Royal Navy warships against the main strength of the French Atlantic Fleet, the circumstances dictated by the cramped, shallow coastal waters in which the battle was fought. The battle is also notorious for its controversial political aftermath in both Britain and France.

    In February 1809 the French Atlantic Fleet, blockaded in Brest on the Breton coast by the British Channel Fleet, attempted to break out into the Atlantic and reinforce the garrison of Martinique. Sighted and chased by British blockade squadrons, the French were unable to escape the Bay of Biscay and eventually anchored in the Basque Roads, near the naval base of Rochefort. There they were kept under observation during March by the British fleet under the dour Admiral Lord Gambier. The Admiralty, desiring an attack on the French fleet, ordered Lord Cochrane, an outspoken and popular junior captain, to lead an attack, over the objections of a number of senior officers. Cochrane organised an inshore squadron of fireships and bomb vessels, including a converted frigate, and personally led this force into Basque Roads on the evening of 11 April.


    Cochrane's plan.


    As the 18 fireships prepared in Britain by Mulgrave had not yet departed by the time of Cochrane's arrival with the fleet, the captain responded by converting his own over the following week. A number of chasse-marées carrying tar and resin perfect for this role had been captured by the blockade, and Cochrane requisitioned eight military transport ships from the fleet reserve for conversion using these materials. The frigate-storeship HMS Mediator was taken over to be the centrepiece of the attack force. These vessels were laden with explosives and combustible materials such as rum-soaked hay, and crewed by volunteers from the fleet.] On three of the vessels Cochrane had loaded 1,500 barrels of gunpowder, topped by hundreds of artillery shells and thousands of grenades to create an explosion ship, a floating bomb of his own design intended to detonate right in the middle of the French line. During this process an attack by French boats on the fireships was driven off, with two British sailors killed and one wounded, and on 5 April Cochrane reconnoitered the approaches to Aix Roads, firing shots at the forts and fleet to gauge their responses. He subsequently wrote to Mulgrave suggesting that with an expeditionary force of 20,000 he could seize the defences overlooking the anchorage, sink blockships in the channel and thereby permanently deprive the French of one of their most important naval bases, although his letter was ignored.

    On 6 April the bomb vessel HMS Aetna, equipped with a heavy mortar, arrived with William Congreve, inventor of a rocket artillery system which was to be used in the attack. It was followed by the first convoy of 12 fireships on 10 April, taking Cochrane's total to 24 fireships and explosion vessels to expend in his attack. With these ships was a transport carrying thousands of Congreve rockets, which were strapped to the masts and yards of the fireships to fire in all directions as the ships burned. Due to Gambier's failure to scout the channel, Cochrane was apparently unaware of the existence of the boom, although historian James Henderson suggests he knew of it but failed to inform Gambier lest the cautious admiral abandon the entire operation. Cochrane was intending that his force, led by the heavy Mediator and the explosion vessels, would enter the anchorage during the night and sow confusion among the French fleet. It was hoped that in the chaos some of the French ships might be destroyed by fire and others driven on shore where a concerted attack by the British fleet would destroy or capture the remainder. Allemand could see the fireships under preparation in Basque Roads, and increased his defences by stationing 73 small boats along the boom to tow fireships onto the mud flats and away from the French fleet. He also ordered all the ships of the line to remove their sails and topmasts. This rendered them largely immobile but considerably less flammable. The frigates retained their rigging as they would be required to move in the event of a major attack.


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    His preparations complete, Cochrane ordered the attack for the evening of 11 April, although Gambier was reluctant to allow his sailors to support Cochrane in the operation, saying "if you choose to rush to self-destruction that is your own affair . . . but it is my duty to take care of the lives of others, and I will not place the crews of the fireships in palpable danger". Cochrane was furious and after a bitter argument Gambier relented and gave permission for the attack to go ahead. He stationed Imperieuse near the Boyart Shoal to the north of the boom, approximately 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km) from the French fleet, supported by frigates HMS Aigle, HMS Unicorn and HMS Pallas. This force would collect the crews of the fireships as they abandoned their blazing charges and rowed back towards the British line, and sloops HMS Redpole and HMS Lyra were equipped as light ships to guide the fireships into the channel. With these ships were the schooner HMS Whiting and cutters Nimrud and King George, all converted into floating rocket batteries. Aetna and two brigs anchored north of the forts on Île-d'Aix, while frigate Emerald and five smaller warships were to launch a diversionary attack to the east of the island. Gambier, with the main body of the fleet, moved closer to the entrance to Aix Roads, eventually anchoring 9 nautical miles (17 km) distant; it has been suggested by one historian that he may have done so in order that he could retreat out to sea easily should the French fleet attempt to attack him in the aftermath of a failed fireship assault.

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    The attack caused little direct damage, but in the narrow waters of the channel the fireships panicked the sailors of the French fleet and most of their ships grounded and were left immobile. Cochrane expected Gambier to follow his attack with the main fleet, which could then destroy the vulnerable French force, but Gambier refused.

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    Cochrane continued the battle over the next several days, successfully destroying several French ships, but with little support from Gambier. This allowed most of the French fleet to refloat and retreat up the Charente to safety. Gambier recalled Cochrane on 14 April and sent him back to Britain, withdrawing most of the inshore squadron at the same time, although scattered fighting continued until 24 April. The increasingly marginalised French fleet was badly damaged and trapped in its home ports; several captains were court-martialed for cowardice and one was shot.
    The battle was undoubtedly a victory for the British; three French ships of the line, a fourth-rate and a frigate were destroyed and much of the remainder of the Brest fleet badly damaged and requiring extensive repairs; Océan and Foudroyant were in a particularly poor state. French casualties in the engagement are not known with certainty, but are estimated at 150–200, while British losses were only 13 killed and 30 wounded. Allemand later wrote that most significant damage resulting from the battle was to the morale of the French fleet; he wrote that "the greater part are disheartened; every day I hear them lamenting their situation, and speaking in praise of their enemy." Another French commentator told a British officer that the French sailors "had now no security from the English in their harbours, and they expected we should next go into Brest and take out their fleet". No British ships suffered more than minor damage in the two weeks of combat, and the fleet could return to its blockade with the knowledge that the Brest fleet was neutralised for some time to come and confined to Rochefort, although a powerful squadron was still under construction at Rochefort, where the defences had been swiftly repaired. This was the last time during the Napoleonic Wars that a significant French fleet was able to put to sea from the Atlantic ports; historian Richard Woodman describes it as the "biggest scare from a break-out French fleet in the post-Trafalgar period." Without naval support, the French colonies in the Caribbean were isolated, blockaded, invaded and captured shortly afterwards
    In Britain the battle was celebrated as a victory, but many in the Navy were dissatisfied with Gambier's behaviour and Cochrane used his position as a Member of Parliament to publicly protest Gambier's leadership. Incensed, Gambier requested a court-martial to disprove Cochrane's accusations and the admiral's political allies ensured that the jury was composed of his supporters. After bitter and argumentative proceedings Gambier was exonerated of any culpability for failings during the battle. Cochrane's naval career was ruined, although the irrepressible officer remained a prominent figure in Britain for decades to come. Historians have almost unanimously condemned Gambier for his failure to support Cochrane; even Napoleon opined that he was an "imbécile".
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    British fleet.


    Inshore Squadron.


    Inshore squadron
    Ship
    Rate
    Guns
    Commander
    Casualties
    Notes
    Killed
    Wounded
    Total
    HMS Indefatigable
    44
    Captain John Tremayne Rodd
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged on 12 April. Withdrawn on 13 April.
    HMS Imperieuse
    38
    Captain Lord Cochrane
    3
    11
    14
    Heavily engaged on 12-14 April. Withdrawn on 14 April.
    HMS Aigle
    36
    Captain George Wolfe
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged on 11-14 April. Remained until 24 April.
    HMS Emerald
    36
    Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged on 11-12 April.
    HMS Unicorn
    32
    Captain Lucius Hardyman
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged on 11-12 April.
    HMS Pallas
    32
    Captain George Seymour
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged on 11-13 April.
    HMS Mediator 44 Captain James Wooldridge
    1
    4
    5
    Deliberately destroyed in the attack of 11 April.
    HMS Beagle
    18
    Captain Francis Newcombe
    0
    0
    0
    Heavily engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Doterel
    18
    Captain Anthony Abdy
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Foxhound
    18
    Captain Pitt Barnaby Greene
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Insolent
    14
    Lieutenant John Row Morris
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Encounter
    12
    Lieutenant James Hugh Talbot
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Conflict
    12
    Lieutenant Joseph B. Batt
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Contest
    12
    Lieutenant John Gregory
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Fervant
    12
    Lieutenant John Edward Hare
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Growler
    12
    Lieutenant Richard Crossman
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Lyra
    10
    Captain William Bevians
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Redpole
    10
    Captain John Joyce
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    HMS Thunderer 8 Captain James Caulfield
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 20 - 24 April.
    HMS Aetna 8 Captain William Godfrey
    0
    0
    0
    Heavily engaged 11 - 24 April.
    HMS Whiting 4 Liutenant Henry
    Wildey
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    Nimrod Cutter Master's Mate Edward
    Tapley
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    King George Cutter Master's Mate Thomas Mercer
    0
    0
    0
    Engaged 12-24 April.
    Total casualties: 4 killed, 15 wounded
    .
    Gambier's fleet.


    Admiral Lord Gambier's Fleet
    Ship
    Rate
    Guns
    Commander
    Casualties
    Notes
    Killed
    Wounded
    Total
    HMS Caledonia
    120
    Admiral Lord Gambier
    Captain Sir Harry Neale
    Captain William Bedford
    0
    0
    0
    Did not participate in the battle.
    HMS Caesar
    80
    Rear-Admiral Robert Stopford
    Captain Charles Richardson
    4
    0
    4
    Casualties incurred in a ship's boat during night attack on 11 April. Ship entered anchorage late on 12 April, withdrew without seeing action.
    HMS Gibraltar
    80
    Captain Henry Lidgbird Ball
    0
    1
    1
    Casualty incurred while serving on fireship, 11 April.
    HMS Hero
    74
    Captain James Newman-Newman
    0
    0
    0
    Did not participate in the battle.
    HMS Donegal
    74
    Captain Pulteney Malcolm
    0
    0
    0
    Did not participate in the battle.
    HMS Resolution
    74
    Captain George Burlton
    0
    0
    0
    Did not participate in the battle.
    HMS Theseus
    74
    Captain John Poer Beresford
    0
    1
    1
    Casualty incurred while serving on fireship, 11 April. Entered anchorage late on 12 April, withdrew without seeing action.
    HMS Valiant
    74
    Captain John Bligh
    0
    0
    0
    Entered anchorage on 12 April. Heavily engaged during the day. Withdrew on morning 13 April.
    HMS Illustrious
    74
    Captain William Robert Broughton
    0
    0
    0
    Did not participate in the battle.
    HMS Bellona
    74
    Captain Stair Douglas
    0
    0
    0
    Did not participate in the battle.
    HMS Revenge
    74
    Captain Alexander Robert Kerr
    5
    13
    18
    Entered anchorage on 12 April. Heavily engaged during the day. Withdrew on morning 13 April.
    Total casualties: 9 killed, 15 wounded
    Last edited by Bligh; 08-10-2019 at 08:04.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain John Tremayne Rodd.

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    Vice-Admiral Sir John Tremayne Rodd, KCB (c. 1769 – 4 October 1838) was an officer of the Royal Navy noted for his services during the Napoleonic Wars. Rodd served in a number of ships, including HMS San Josef under Admiral Sir Charles Cotton and HMS Indefatigable during the Battle of the Basque Roads. In 1809, he married the daughter of James Rennell and in 1825 was promoted to rear-admiral, later advancing to vice-admiral and knighted. He died in 1838.

    Life.

    Little is known of Rodd's early life, but during the French Revolutionary Wars he served as a commander in the sloops HMS Bonetta and HMS Scorpion. In the former he participated in the capture of the French privateer Le Poisson Volant in the West Indies on 4 August 1796, and in the latter he captured the Dutch privateer Courier, for which was promoted to post captain on 7 September 1798. After the Peace of Amiens in 1803, Rodd briefly took command of the first rate ship of the line HMS San Josef under Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, but by 1805 had moved to the veteran frigate HMS Indefatigable. In Indefatigable, Rodd served as the main scout for the British squadron blockading Brest, France. In 1805 he sighted the French fleet under Admiral Ganteaume attempting to escape and warned the Offshore Squadron, who drove the French back into Brest in a brief engagement. In 1806, Rodd was working in conjunction with Captain Lord Cochrane in HMS Pallas and on 15 July Indefatigable was the launch point for a fleet of small boats that attacked a French convoy in the Gironde.

    In early 1809, Rodd gained information concerning the departure of the French frigate Niémen from Brest, which led to her capture in early April. The same month, Indefatigable was heavily engaged at the Battle of Basque Roads, in which the French fleet in Brest was driven onto shoals by fireships launched by Cochrane who then attacked. Cochrane was inadequately supported by Admiral Lord Gambier and as a result only five French ships were destroyed instead of the entire fleet. Throughout the battle Rodd was heavily engaged with superior enemy forces, closely supporting Cochrane's attack. In the summer of 1809 he was called as a witness at the Court-martial of James, Lord Gambier which assessed whether Gambier had failed to support Cochrane at the battle. Gambier was controversially cleared of all charges. He left Indefatigable soon afterwards. In 1809, Rodd married Jane Rennell, daughter of Major James Rennell, a noted geographer who often assisted her father in his work. In 1814, Rodd moved to the ship of the line HMS Warrior but was placed in reserve at the end of the war in the same year.

    In 1825, Rodd was promoted to be a Rear-Admiral of the Red, and on 20 February 1832 he was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

    He died at Tunbridge Wells in October 1838, survived by his wife and recently promoted to vice-admiral.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Thomas Cochrane.

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    Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, Marquess of Maranhão, GCB, ODM, OSC (14 December 1775 – 31 October 1860), styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831, was a British naval flag officer of the Royal Navy, mercenary and radical politician. He was a daring and successful captain of the Napoleonic Wars, leading Napoleon to nickname him Le Loup des Mers ('The Sea Wolf'). He was successful in virtually all his naval actions.
    He was dismissed from the Royal Navy in 1814 following a controversial conviction for fraud on the Stock Exchange. He helped organise and lead the rebel navies of Chile and Brazil during their respective successful wars of independence through the 1820s. While in charge of the Chilean Navy, Cochrane also contributed to Peruvian Independence through the Freedom Expedition of Perú. He was also asked to help the Greek Navy but was prevented by events from having much impact.
    In 1832, he was pardoned by the Crown and reinstated in the Royal Navy with the rank of Rear Admiral of the Blue. After several more promotions, he died in 1860 with the rank of Admiral of the Red, and the honorary title of Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom.
    His life and exploits inspired the naval fiction of 19th- and 20th-century novelists, particularly the figures of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's protagonist Jack Aubrey.

    Family.


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    Cochrane's father, The 9th Earl of Dundonald (1748-1831).

    Thomas Cochrane was born at Annsfield, near Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, the son of Archibald, Lord Cochrane (1748-1831), who later became, in October 1778, The 9th Earl of Dundonald, and his wife, Anna Gilchrist. She was the daughter of Captain James Gilchrist and Ann Roberton, the daughter of Major John Roberton, 16th Laird of Earnock. Thomas, Lord Cochrane, as he himself became in October 1778, had six brothers. Two served with distinction in the military: William Erskine Cochrane of the 15th Dragoon Guards, who served under Sir John Moore in the Peninsular War and reached the rank of major; and Archibald Cochrane, who became a captain in the Navy.
    Lord Cochrane was descended from lines of Scottish aristocracy and military service on both sides of his family. Through his uncle, Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, the sixth son of The 8th Earl of Dundonald, Cochrane was cousin to his namesake, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane (1789-1872). Sir Thomas J. Cochrane also had a naval career and was appointed as Governor of Newfoundland and later Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom. By 1793 the family fortune had been spent, and the family estate was sold to cover debts.

    Early life.

    Lord Cochrane spent much of his early life in Culross, Fife, where his family had an estate.

    Through the influence of his uncle Alexander Cochrane, he was listed as a member of the crew on the books of four Royal Navy ships starting when he was five years old. This common (though unlawful) practice called false muster was a means of acquiring the years of service required for promotion, if and when he joined the Navy. His father secured him a commission in the British Army at an early age, but Cochrane preferred the Navy. He joined it in 1793 upon the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars.

    Service in the Royal Navy.

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    Engraving dated 1827 portraying Cochrane. French ships can be seen burning in the background.

    On 23 July 1793, aged 17, Cochrane joined the navy as a midshipman, spending his first months at Sheerness in the 28-gun sixth-rate frigate HMS Hind commanded by his uncle Captain Alexander Cochrane. He transferred to the 38-gun fifth rate HMS Thetis, also under his uncle's command. While aboard Thetis, he visited Norway and next served at the North America station. In 1795, he was appointed acting lieutenant. The following year on 27 May 1796, he was commissioned lieutenant after passing the examination. After several transfers in North America and a return home in 1798, he was assigned as 8th Lieutenant on Lord Keith's flagship HMS Barfleur in the Mediterranean.

    During his service on Barfleur, Cochrane was court-martialled for showing disrespect to Philip Beaver, the ship's first lieutenant. The board reprimanded him for flippancy. This was the first public manifestation of a pattern of Cochrane being unable to get along with many of his superiors, subordinates, employers, and colleagues in several navies and Parliament, even those with whom he had much in common and who should have been natural allies. His behaviour led to a long enmity with Admiral of the Fleet The 1st Earl of St Vincent.

    In February 1800, Cochrane commanded the prize crew taking the captured French vessel Généreux to the British base at Mahón. The ship was almost lost in a storm, with Cochrane and his brother Archibald going aloft in place of crew who were mostly ill. Cochrane was promoted to commander and took command of the brig sloop HMS Speedy on 28 March 1800. Later that year, a Spanish warship disguised as a merchant ship almost captured him. He escaped by flying a Danish flag and fending off a boarding by claiming that his ship was plague-ridden. On another occasion, he was being chased by an enemy frigate and knew that it would follow him in the night by any glimmer of light from Speedy, so he placed a lantern on a barrel and let it float away. The enemy frigate followed the light and Speedy escaped.

    In February 1801 at Malta, Cochrane got into an argument with a French Royalist officer at a fancy dress ball. He had come dressed as a common sailor, and the Royalist mistook him for one. This argument led to Cochrane's only duel. Cochrane wounded the French officer with a pistol shot and was himself unharmed.

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    The Action and Capture of the Spanish Xebeque Frigate El Gamo, Clarkson Frederick Stanfield

    One of his most notable exploits was the capture of the Spanish xebec frigate El Gamo on 6 May 1801. El Gamo carried 32 guns and 319 men, compared with Speedy's 14 guns and 54 men.[11][12] Cochrane flew an American flag and approached so closely to El Gamo that her guns could not depress to fire on Speedy's hull. The Spanish tried to board and take over the ship but, whenever they were about to board, Cochrane pulled away briefly and fired on the concentrated boarding parties with his ship's guns. Eventually, Cochrane boarded El Gamo and captured her, despite being outnumbered about five to one.

    In Speedy's 13-month cruise, Cochrane captured, burned, or drove ashore 53 ships before three French ships of the line under Admiral Charles-Alexandre Linois captured him on 3 July 1801. While Cochrane was held as a prisoner, Linois often asked him for advice. In his autobiography, Cochrane recounted how courteous and polite the French officer had been. A few days later, he was exchanged for the second captain of another French ship. On 8 August 1801, he was promoted to the rank of post-captain.

    After the Peace of Amiens, Cochrane attended the University of Edinburgh. Upon the resumption of war in 1803, St Vincent assigned him in October 1803 to command the sixth-rate 22-gun HMS Arab. Cochrane alleged that the vessel handled poorly, colliding with Royal Navy ships on two occasions (Bloodhound and Abundance). In his autobiography, he compared Arab to a collier. He wrote that his first thoughts on seeing Arab being repaired at Plymouth were that she would "sail like a haystack." Despite this, he intercepted and boarded the American merchant ship Chatham. This created an international incident, as Britain was not at war with the United States. Arab and her commander were assigned to protect Britain's important whaling fleet beyond Orkney in the North Sea.
    In 1804, Lord St Vincent stood aside for the incoming new government led by William Pitt the Younger, and The 1st Viscount Melville took office. In December of that year, Cochrane was appointed to command of the new 32-gun frigate HMS Pallas. He undertook a series of notable exploits over the following eighteen months.

    In August 1806, he took command of the 38-gun frigate HMS Imperieuse, formerly the Spanish frigate Medea. One of his midshipmen was Frederick Marryat, who later wrote fictionalised accounts of his adventures with Cochrane.

    In Imperieuse, Cochrane raided the Mediterranean coast of France during the continuing Napoleonic Wars. In 1808, Cochrane and a Spanish guerrilla force captured the fortress of Mongat, which straddled the road between Gerona and Barcelona. This delayed General Duhesme's French army for a month. On another raid, Cochrane copied code books from a signal station, leaving behind the originals so that the French would believe them uncompromised. When Imperieuse ran short of water, she sailed up the estuary of the Rhone to replenish. A French army marched into Catalonia and besieged Rosas, and Cochrane took part in the defence of the town. He occupied and defended Fort Trinidad (Castell de la Trinitat) for a number of weeks before the fall of the city forced him to leave; Cochrane was one of the last two men to quit the fort.

    While captain of Speedy, Pallas, and Imperieuse, Cochrane became an effective practitioner of coastal warfare during the period. He attacked shore installations such as the Martello tower at Son Bou on Menorca, and he captured enemy ships in harbour by leading his men in boats in "cutting out" operations. He was a meticulous planner of every operation, which limited casualties among his men and maximised the chances of success.

    In 1809, Cochrane commanded the attack by a flotilla of fire ships on Rochefort, as part of the Battle of the Basque Roads. The attack did considerable damage, but Cochrane blamed fleet commander Admiral Gambier for missing the opportunity to destroy the French fleet, accusations that resulted in the Court-martial of James, Lord Gambier. Cochrane claimed that, as a result of expressing his opinion publicly, the admiralty denied him the opportunity to serve afloat. But documentation shows that he was focussed on politics at this time and, indeed, refused a number of offers of command.

    Political career.

    In June 1806, Lord Cochrane stood for the House of Commons on a ticket of parliamentary reform (a movement which later brought about the Reform Acts) for the potwalloper borough of Honiton. This was exactly the kind of borough which Cochrane proposed to abolish; votes were mostly sold to the highest bidder. Cochrane offered nothing and lost the election. In October 1806, he ran for Parliament in Honiton and won. Cochrane initially denied that he paid any bribes, but he revealed in a Parliamentary debate ten years later that he had paid ten guineas (£10 10s) per voter through Mr. Townshend, local headman and banker.

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    Portrait of Lord Cochrane in 1807 by Peter Edward Stroehling

    In May 1807, Cochrane was elected by Westminster in a more democratic election. He had campaigned for parliamentary reform, allied with such Radicals as William Cobbett, Sir Francis Burdett, and Henry Hunt. His outspoken criticism of the conduct of the war and the corruption in the navy made him powerful enemies in the government. His criticism of Admiral Gambier's conduct at the Battle of the Basque Roads was so severe that Gambier demanded a court-martial to clear his name. Cochrane made important enemies in the Admiralty during this period.

    In 1810, Sir Francis Burdett, a member of parliament and political ally, had barricaded himself in his home at Piccadilly, London, resisting arrest by the House of Commons. Cochrane went to assist Burdett's defence of the house. His approach was similar to what he used in the navy and would have led to numerous deaths amongst the arresting officers and at least partial destruction of Burdett's house, along with much of Piccadilly. On realising what Cochrane planned, Burdett and his allies took steps to end the siege.

    Cochrane was popular with the public but was unable to get along with his colleagues in the House of Commons or within the government. He usually had little success in promoting his causes. An exception was his successful confrontation of a prize court in 1814.

    His conviction in the Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814 resulted in Parliament expelling him on 5 July 1814. However, his constituents in the seat of Westminster re-elected him at the resulting by-election on 16 July.

    He held this seat until 1818. In 1818, Cochrane's last speech in Parliament advocated parliamentary reform.

    In 1830, Cochrane initially expressed interest in running for Parliament but then declined. Lord Brougham's brother had decided to run for the seat, and Cochrane also thought that it would look bad for him to be publicly supporting a government from which he sought pardon for his fraud conviction.
    In 1831, his father died and Cochrane became the 10th Earl of Dundonald. As such, he was no longer entitled to sit in the Commons.

    Marriage and children.

    In 1812, Cochrane married Katherine ("Katy") Frances Corbet Barnes, a beautiful orphan who was about twenty years his junior. They met through Cochrane's cousin Nathaniel Day Cochrane. This was an elopement and a civil ceremony, due to the opposition of his wealthy uncle Basil Cochrane, who disinherited his nephew as a result. Cochrane called Katherine "Kate," "Kitty," or "Mouse" in letters to her; she often accompanied her husband on his extended campaigns in South America and Greece.

    Cochrane and Katherine remarried in the Anglican Church in 1818, and in the Church of Scotland in 1825. They had six children;


    • Thomas Barnes Cochrane, 11th Earl of Dundonald, b. 18 April 1814, m. Louisa Harriett McKinnon.
    • William Horatio Bernardo Cochrane, officer, 92nd Gordon Highlanders, b. 8 March 1818 m. Jacobina Frances Nicholson d. 6 February 1900.
    • Elizabeth Katharine Cochrane, died close to her first birthday.
    • Katharine Elizabeth Cochrane, d. 25 August 1869, m. John Willis Fleming.
    • Admiral Sir Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane KCB (Commander of HMS Niger), b. 24 September 1824, d. 20 August 1905.
    • Captain Ernest Gray Lambton Cochrane RN (High Sheriff of Donegal) b. 4 June 1834, d. 2 February 1911 m. 1. Adelaide Blackall 2. Elizabeth Frances Maria Katherine Doherty.
    • The confusion of multiple ceremonies led to suspicions that Cochrane's first son Thomas Barnes Cochrane was illegitimate. Investigation of this delayed Thomas's accession to the Earldom of Dundonald on his father's death.

    Great Stock Exchange Fraud.

    In February 1814, rumours began to circulate of Napoleon's death. The claims were seemingly confirmed by a man in a red staff officer's uniform identified as Colonel de Bourg, aide-de-camp to Lord Cathcart and British ambassador to Russia. He arrived in Dover from France on 21 February bearing news that Napoleon had been captured and killed by Cossacks.
    Share prices rose sharply on the Stock Exchange in reaction to the news and the possibility of peace, particularly in a volatile government stock called Omnium which increased from ​26 12 to 32. However, it soon became clear that the news of Napoleon's death was a hoax. The Stock Exchange established a sub-committee to investigate, and they discovered that six men had sold substantial amounts of Omnium stock during the boom in value. The committee assumed that all six were responsible for the hoax and subsequent fraud. Cochrane had disposed of his entire £139,000 holding in Omnium (equivalent to £9,550,000 in 2018) – which he had only acquired a month before – and was named as one of the six conspirators, as was his uncle Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone and his stockbroker Richard Butt. Within days, an anonymous informant told the committee that Colonel de Bourg was an imposter; he was a Prussian aristocrat named Charles Random de Berenger. He had also been seen entering Cochrane's house on the day of the hoax.

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    A caricature created in 1815 titled Things as they have been. Things as they now are. The left side of the image depicts Cochrane as a heroic naval officer. The right side depicts him as a disgraced civilian imprisoned within the walls of the King's Bench Prison.

    The accused were brought to trial in the Court of King's Bench, Guildhall on 8 June 1814. The trial was presided over by Lord Ellenborough, a High Tory and a notable enemy of the radicals, who had previously convicted and sentenced to prison radical politicians William Cobbett and Henry Hunt in politically motivated trials. The evidence against Cochrane was circumstantial and hinged on the nature of his share dealings, his contacts with the conspirators, and the colour of uniform which De Berenger had been wearing when they met in his house. Cochrane admitted that he was acquainted with De Berenger and that the man had visited his home on the day of the fraud, but insisted that he had arrived wearing a green sharpshooter's uniform rather than the red uniform worn by the person who claimed to be de Bourg. Cochrane said that De Berenger had visited to request passage to the United States aboard Cochrane's new command HMS Tonnant. Cochrane's servants agreed, in an affidavit created before the trial, that the collar of the uniform above De Berenger's greatcoat had been green. However, they admitted to Cochrane's solicitors that they thought the rest had been red. They were not called at trial to give evidence. The prosecution summoned as key witness hackney carriage driver William Crane, who swore that De Berenger was wearing a scarlet uniform when he delivered him to the house. Cochrane's defence also argued that he had given standing instructions to Butt that his Omnium shares were to be sold if the price rose by 1 per cent, and he would have made double profit if he waited until it reached its peak price.
    On the second day of the trial, Lord Ellenborough began his summary of the evidence and drew attention to the matter of De Berenger's uniform; he concluded that witnesses had provided damning evidence. The jury retired to deliberate and returned a verdict of guilty against all the defendants two and a half hours later. Belatedly, Cochrane's defence team found several witnesses who were willing to testify that De Berenger had arrived wearing a green uniform, but Lord Ellenborough dismissed their evidence as inadmissible because two of the conspirators had fled the country upon hearing the guilty verdict. On 20 June 1814, Cochrane was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, fined £1,000, and ordered to stand in the pillory opposite the Royal Exchange for one hour. In subsequent weeks, he was dismissed from the Royal Navy by the Admiralty and expelled from Parliament following a motion in the House of Commons which was passed by 144 votes to 44. On the orders of the Prince Regent, Cochrane was humiliated by the loss of his appointment Knight of the Order of the Bath in a degradation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. His banner was taken down and physically kicked out of the chapel and down the outside steps. But, within a month, Cochrane was re-elected unopposed as the Member of Parliament for Westminster. Following a public outcry, his sentence to the pillory was rescinded for fears that it would lead to the outbreak of a riot.

    The question of Cochrane's innocence or guilt created much debate at the time, and it has divided historians ever since. Subsequent reviews of the trial carried out by three Lord Chancellors during the course of the 19th century concluded that Cochrane should have been found not guilty on the basis of the evidence produced in court. Cochrane maintained his innocence for the rest of his life and campaigned tirelessly to restore his damaged reputation and to clear his name. He believed that the trial was politically motivated and that a "higher authority than the Stock Exchange" was responsible for his prosecution. A series of petitions put forward by Cochrane protesting his innocence were ignored until 1830. That year, King George IV (the former Prince Regent) died and was succeeded by William IV. He had served in the Royal Navy and was sympathetic to Cochrane's cause. Later that year, the Tory government fell and was replaced by a Whig government in which his friend Lord Brougham was appointed Lord Chancellor. Following a meeting of the Privy Council in May 1832, Cochrane was granted a pardon and restored to the Navy List with a promotion to rear-admiral. Support from friends in the government and the writings of popular naval authors such as Frederick Marryat and Maria Graham increased public sympathy for Cochrane's situation. Cochrane's knighthood was restored in May 1847 with the personal intervention of Queen Victoria, and he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. Only in 1860 was his banner returned to Westminster Abbey; it was the day before his funeral.

    In 1876, his grandson received a payment of £40,000 from the British government (equivalent to £3,700,000 in 2018), based on the recommendations of a Parliamentary select committee, in compensation for Cochrane's conviction. The committee had concluded that his conviction was unjust.

    Service with other navies.

    Chilean Navy.

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    Painting of the First Chilean Navy Squadron commanded by Cochrane

    Lord Cochrane left the UK in official disgrace, but that did not end his naval career. Accompanied by Lady Cochrane and their two children, he reached Valparaíso on 28 November 1818. Chile was rapidly organising its new navy for its war of independence.

    Cochrane became a Chilean citizen (unrecognized state), on 11 December 1818 at the request of Chilean leader Bernardo O'Higgins. He was appointed Vice Admiral and took command of the Chilean Navy in Chile's war of independence against Spain. He was the first Vice Admiral of Chile. Cochrane reorganised the Chilean navy with British commanders, introducing British naval customs and, formally, English-speaking govern in their warships. He took command in the frigate O'Higgins and blockaded and raided the coasts of Peru, as he had those of France and Spain. On his own initiative, he organised and led the capture of Valdivia, despite only having 300 men and two ships to deploy against seven large forts. He failed in his attempt to capture the Chiloé Archipelago for Chile.

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    A painting of the Capture of Valdivia in the Chilean naval and maritime museum

    In 1820, O'Higgins ordered him to convoy the Liberation Army of General José de San Martín to Peru, blockade the coast, and support the campaign for independence. Later, forces under Cochrane's personal command cut out and captured the frigate Esmeralda, the most powerful Spanish ship in South America. All this led to Peruvian independence, which O'Higgins considered indispensable to Chile's security. Cochrane's victories in the Pacific were spectacular and important. The excitement was almost immediately marred by his accusations that he had been plotted against by subordinates and treated with contempt and denied adequate financial reward by his superiors. The evidence does not support these accusations, and the problem appeared to lie in Cochrane's own suspicious and uneasy personality.

    Loose words from his wife Katy resulted in a rumour that Cochrane had made plans to free Napoleon from his exile on Saint Helena and make him ruler of a unified South American state. This could not have been true because Charles,[ the supposed envoy bearing the rumoured plans, had been killed two months before his reported "departure to Europe". Cochrane left the service of the Chilean Navy on 29 November 1822.

    Chilean naval vessels named after Lord Cochrane.

    The Chilean Navy has named five ships Cochrane or Almirante Cochrane (Admiral Cochrane) in his honour:



    Imperial Brazilian Navy.

    Brazil was fighting its own war of independence against Portugal. In 1822, the southern provinces (except Montevideo, now in Uruguay) came under the control of the patriots led by the Prince Regent, later Emperor Pedro I. Portugal still controlled some important provincial capitals in the north, with major garrisons and naval bases such as Belém do Pará, Salvador da Bahia, and São Luís do Maranhão.

    Lord Cochrane took command of the Imperial Brazilian Navy on 21 March 1823 and its flagship Pedro I. He blockaded the Portuguese in Bahia, confronted them at the Battle of 4 May, and forced them to evacuate the province in a vast convoy of ships which Cochrane's men attacked as they crossed the Atlantic. Cochrane sailed to Maranhão (then spelled Maranham) on his own initiative and bluffed the garrison into surrender by claiming that a vast (and mythical) Brazilian fleet and army were over the horizon. He sent subordinate Captain John Pascoe Grenfell to Belém do Pará to use the same bluff and extract a Portuguese surrender. As a result of Cochrane's efforts, Brazil became totally de facto independent and free of any Portuguese troops. On Cochrane's return to Rio de Janeiro in 1824, Emperor Pedro I rewarded the officer by granting him the non-hereditary title of Marquess of Maranhão (Marquês do Maranhão) in the Empire of Brazil. He was also awarded an accompanying coat of arms.

    As in Chile and earlier occasions, Cochrane's joy at these successes was rapidly replaced by quarrels over pay and prize money, and an accusation that the Brazilian authorities were plotting against him.

    In mid-1824, Cochrane sailed north with a squadron to assist the Brazilian army under General Francisco Lima e Silva in suppressing a republican rebellion in the state of Pernambuco which had begun to spread to Maranhão and other northern states. The rebellion was rapidly extinguished. Cochrane proceeded to Maranhão, where he took over the administration. He demanded the payment of prize money which he claimed he was owed as a result of the recapture of the province in 1823. He absconded with public money and sacked merchant ships anchored in São Luís do Maranhão. Defying orders to return to Rio de Janeiro, Cochrane transferred to a captured Brazilian frigate, left Brazil on 10 November 1825, and returned to Britain.

    Greek Navy.

    Cochrane went to Greece to support its fight for independence from the Ottoman Empire, which had deployed an army raised in Egypt to suppress the Greek rebellion. He took an active role in the campaign between March 1827 and December 1828, but met with limited success. His subordinate Captain Hastings attacked Ottoman forces at the Gulf of Lepanto, which indirectly led to intervention by Great Britain, France, and Russia. They succeeded in destroying the Turko–Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino, and the war was ended under mediation of the Great Powers. He resigned his commission at the end of the war and returned to Britain.

    Return to Royal Navy.

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    Lord Dundonald's residence while Commander-in-Chief, North America Station (1848–1851)

    Lord Cochrane inherited his peerage following his father's death on 1 July 1831, becoming The 10th Earl of Dundonald. He was restored to the Royal Navy list on 2 May 1832 as a Rear Admiral of the Blue. The full return of Lord Dundonald, as he was now, to Royal Navy service was delayed by his refusal to take a command until his knighthood had been restored, which took 15 years. He continued to receive promotions in the list of flag officers, as follows:


    • Rear Admiral of the Blue on 2 May 1832
    • Rear Admiral of the White on 10 January 1837
    • Rear Admiral of the Red on 28 June 1838
    • Vice Admiral of the Blue on 23 November 1841
    • Vice Admiral of the White on 9 November 1846
    • Vice Admiral of the Red on 3 January 1848
    • Admiral of the Blue on 21 March 1851
    • Admiral of the White on 2 April 1853
    • Admiral of the Red on 8 December 1857

    On 22 May 1847, Queen Victoria reappointed him Knight of the Order of the Bath. He returned to the Royal Navy, serving as Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Station from 1848 to 1851. During the Crimean War, the government considered him for a command in the Baltic, but decided that there was too high a chance that Lord Dundonald would risk the fleet in a daring attack. On 6 November 1854, he was appointed to the honorary office of Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom, an office that he retained until his death.

    In his final years, Lord Dundonald wrote his autobiography in collaboration with G.B. Earp. He twice had to undergo painful surgery for kidney stones in 1860 with his health deteriorating. He died during the second operation on 31 October 1860 in Kensington.

    Dundonald was buried in Westminster Abbey where his grave is in the central part of the nave. Each year in May, representatives of the Chilean Navy hold a wreath-laying ceremony at his grave.

    Innovations in technology.

    Convoys were guided by ships following the lamps of those ahead. In 1805, Lord Cochrane entered a Royal Navy competition for a superior convoy lamp. He believed that the judges were biased against him, so he re-entered the contest under another name and won the prize.

    In 1806, Cochrane had a galley made to his specifications which he carried on board Pallas and used to attack the French coast. It had the advantage of mobility and flexibility.

    In 1812, Lord Cochrane proposed attacking the French coast using a combination of bombardment ships, explosion ships, and "stink vessels" (gas warfare). A bombardment ship consisted of a strengthened old hulk filled with powder and shot and made to list to one side. It was anchored at night to face the enemy behind the harbour wall. When set off, it provided saturation bombardment of the harbour, which would be closely followed by landings of troops. He put the plans forward again before and during the Crimean War. The authorities, however, decided not to pursue his plans.

    In 1818, Cochrane patented the tunnelling shield, together with engineer Marc Isambard Brunel, which Brunel and his son used in building the Thames Tunnel in 1825–43.
    Cochrane was an early supporter of steamships. He tried to take the steamship Rising Star from Britain to Chile for use in the war of independence in the 1820s, but its construction took too long; it did not arrive until the war was ending. Rising Star was a 410-ton vessel adapted to a new design at Brent's Yard at the Greenland Dock at the Thames: twin funnels, a retractable paddle wheel, and driven by a 60-horsepower engine. Similarly, he suffered delays with construction of a steamship which he had hoped to put into use in the Greek War of Independence. In the 1830s, Lord Dundonald, as he now was, experimented with steam power, developing a rotary engine and a propeller. In 1851, Lord Dundonald received a patent on powering steamships with bitumen. He was conferred with Honorary Membership in the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland in 1857.

    Burial and memorial.

    Lord Dundonald was interred in Westminster Abbey in the floor of the nave directly before the choir. His epitaph, written by Sir Lyon Playfair, reads:

    'Here rests in his 85th year Thomas Cochrane Tenth Earl of Dundonald of Paisley and of Ochiltree in the Peerage of Scotland Marquess of Marenham in the Empire of Brazil GCB and Admiral of the Fleet who by his confidence and genius his science and extraordinary daring inspired by his heroic exertion in the cause of freedom and his splended services alike to his own country, Greece, Brazil, Chile and Peru achieved a name illustrious throughout the world for courage, patriotism and chivalry. Born Dec 14 1775. Died Oct 31 1860'

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    Monument to Lord Cochrane at Valpariso.
    Last edited by Bligh; 05-25-2019 at 09:10.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  5. #5
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    Commander Francis Newcombe.

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    FRANCIS NEWCOMBE, Esq.
    A Companion of the Most Honorable Military Order of the Bath.
    [Post-Captain of 1809.]

    This officer was made a Lieutenant in 1794, and advanced to the rank of Commander in 1801. He subsequently commanded the Beagle sloop, stationed off Boulogne, where he captured the French privateers le Hazard, of 14 guns and 49 men; Vengeur, 10 guns and 48 men; and la Fortune, of 14 guns and 58 men. His gallant conduct in Aix Roads on the memorable 11th April (and following days) 1809, is thus recorded in the minutes of a court-martial which was afterwards assembled to investigate the conduct of Lord Gambier:


    Question put to Captain George Wolfe, of l’Aigle frigate.– “Lord Cochrane having remarked to you that some of the fire-ships, upon the first attack upon the enemy, had not been well managed, do you know of any particular fire-ship, or fire-ships, that were improperly conducted on the evening of the 11th April?”
    Answer.– “I cannot particularise those that were badly managed; the ship that passed between us and the island of Oleron, and got on shore there, was the only one I particularly noticed.”
    Q.– “Do you know her name?”
    A.– “I do not; I hailed five that came very near us. Our own ship was very nearly burnt by two that were badly managed, and which were on fire as they passed us. I could only learn the names of the officers of two of the fire-ships that behaved well; they did not fire their ships till after they had passed me. Five behaved very well: one of them was commanded by Captain Newcombe, who desired me to remember he had passed us[1].”



    The following is Captain Newcombe’s own account of his proceedings on the ensuing day:


    “Being under weigh, on the 12th April, and it being reported to me that a signal was made by the commander-in-chief – the frigates to go to the ship making signals of distress in such a quarter – I felt it my duty to proceed on after the Imperieuse, to Aix Roads; l’Aigle and the other frigates, besides the Valiant and Revenge, following. Conceiving it the intent of the commander-in-chief that I should so proceed, on having previously discovered the Etna bomb and several gun-brigs making sail for the anchorage, preceding the Imperieuse, and which I judged was from the directions they received from the commander-in-chief, I judged it prudent to reserve in preparation my bower anchor and cable, for any of the ships that might require it, concluding that there was a great probability that it might be required by either the line-of-battle ships or frigates. I caused my own stream-cable and anchor to be ready with a spring to it, to make use of as a bower to bring up the sloop I command, the wind being then moderate enough to ride her by, and to facilitate my movements to wherever I should be required. I brought up in Aix Roads, with my stream-anchor, on the larboard quarter of the Imperieuse, and without her, merely that I should not interrupt the anchorage of the line-of-battle ships and frigates that were close to me. The bomb and the gun-brigs were lying a little farther to the westward of me. There were some shot fired in their direction, and towards me, from the Imperieuse. No signal, whatever, having been previously made for the direction of any of the vessels, I sent Lieutenant Price with a message to Lord Cochrane, to know if those shot were fired at the isle of Oleron, or by mistake, or intentionally: if the latter, I felt very indignant at it. I brought up there, because I should not be in the way of the frigates and line-of-battle ships; and I should have thought it a most injudicious step, had I placed my sloop in such a situation so as to have prevented the services of a larger force: nor neither was there room between the Imperieuse and the Palles shoal for any more than one, which situation the Indefatigable took up. Moreover, I explained that I had neither chart nor any person on board that had ever been there before. The tide then falling, had I touched upon the Palles, the Beagle must inevitably have been lost. When I sent the officer away with this message, I was prepared to weigh my anchor, in the event of any situation being pointed out. A signal from the Imperieuse was made to close. In about two or three minutes I shot the vessel in between the Indefatigable and le Jean Bart (74), which ship was previously cast away on the Palles shoal, and brought up with my stream a second time, and commenced firing upon the enemy, the Ville de Varsovie (80) more particularly. This continued for about a quarter of an hour, or twenty minutes, as far as I can recollect. Finding my rudder almost coming in contact with the wreck of the Jean Bart, and being too near the Indefatigable, so much so, that my masts and rigging were in danger from her fire, I got a second time under weigh, and kept so until six o’clock that night, under top-sails, jib, and spanker, to annoy the enemy in such situations as I thought I could act best. My second Lieutenant was away from the time I sent the message, to sound about the Palles and the entrance of the Charente; and observing that the Calcutta (50) was abandoned, went on board of her, at the same lime that another boat, which I understood to belong to the Imperieuse, went alongside to take possession of her. Seeing an opportunity to annoy the Aquilon (74), I made sail for her stern within pistol-shot, and commenced firing upon her; she returned it, carrying away many of my ropes, and all my larboard main-top-mast rigging; having fired upon her for about ten minutes, she struck her colours. I lowered a boat down, to send an officer on board to take possession of her, first tacking or wearing my head off. She again opened her fire, and I was obliged to return it also. I kept my main-top-sail spilling, to preserve my situation close to her. Perceiving all her boats manned, and the ship’s company abandoning her, I concluded that her firing, after she had struck, was from accident, and not by design. I then stood out, and back again, as occasion might require, being then in 17 or 18 feet water, and the tide fast falling[2]; and as no more annoyance could be given to any of the enemy’s ships, viz. those upon the Palles shoal, and which I afterwards learned to he the Calcutta, Tonnere (74), Ville de Varsovie, and Aquilon. I then recollect (seeing nothing more to be done, in my opinion) to have recommended to some of the frigates to trip their anchors und shoot a little further out, to prevent their grounding at low water; telling them that I found more water a little further to the W.S.W. or the S.W. About six, or half-past, I brought up my sloop with the bower in about five fathoms; and nothing being required of the Beagle, I caused the crew to get their dinner. I went with the boats afterwards, and staid till twelve o’clock that night, engaged in the service going on.”

    On the morning of the 18th April, Lord Cochrane made arrangements for destroying the remainder of the French ships.


    “About ten o’clock,” continues Captain Newcombe, “I proceeded in towards the Vice-Admiral’s ship, a two-decker, and a frigate, situated at the mouth of the Charente. I brought up, when on the Ocean’s quarter, in sixteen feet water, and engaged her from the hour of eleven until four o’clock, she returning the fire from her stern and quarter, as well as the other line-of-battle ship and frigate; Isle d’Aix occasionally throwing shells, and many of the splinters falling upon deck[3]. During these five hours my standing and running rigging were very much injured; my main-yard and top-masts were shot through; and several shot in my hull, * * * * * I weighed at about four o’clock, the tide then fulling, and turned up to my former anchorage, under a heavy fire from the batteries on the Isle d’Aix[4].



    During the trial to which we have alluded, it was stated in evidence, that the conduct of Captain Newcombe had gained him the admiration of the commander-in-chief, and the officers of the fleet who had observed his proceedings[5].

    “I beg leave to assure this court,” says Lord Gambier, “that he acquitted himself in the command of the Beagle, in Aix Roads, in a manner highly honorable to himself, and certainly satisfactory to me[6].”


    Captain Newcombe’s gallantry and activity on that occasion were duly appreciated, his post commission being dated back to the 11th April, 1809. He subsequently commanded the Wanderer, of 20 guns; Chesapeake frigate; Bulwark 74 (pro tempore); and Pyramus 42; the latter ship employed at the Leeward Islands, on the peace establishment. The Pyramus was paid off in June, 1825.


    Mrs. Newcombe died at Weymouth, Dec. 21, 1823.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Anthony Abdy.


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    Captain Anthony Thomas Abdy was born in 1780. He was the son of
    Reverend Thomas Abdy and Mary Hayes. He was the brother of John Rutherforth Abdy.

    He gained the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy.

    Abdy was made a Lieutenant in Feb. 1800; advanced to the rank of Commander, April 29, 1802; appointed to the Zephyr fire-ship, in 1804. to the Dotterell brig, about Nov. 1808;where he served at the Basque Rhodes, and later to acting Captain in the Tonnant 80, off Ferrol, about June, 1809. His post commission bears the date of Oct. 21, 1810. The year in which he retired from the Navy.

    He became a freemason in 1814. After his retirement, he lived at Naples (Italy) for some years, but in 1821 the concerns of the British consul there about his mental health led to his repatriation to England and his being placed in the care of Dr. Burrowes at The Retreat, Clapham, and he remained there for the rest of his life; in March 1832 he was formally declared to be a lunatic.

    Captain Abdy married, 23 August 1808 at Sonning (Berks), Grace, illegitimate daughter of Admiral Sir Thomas Rich, 5th and last bt., of Sonning,

    He died in the Retreat Asylum, 9 June 1838 and was buried at Holy Trinity, Clapham (Surrey), 14 June 1838.

    His wife was buried at St Andrew, Plymouth (Devon), 28 March 1811.


    Issue.

    Sir Thomas Neville Abdy, 1st Bt.
    b. 21 Dec 1810, d. 20 Jul 1877


    Last edited by Bligh; 06-03-2019 at 14:00.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    HMS Indefatigable.



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    HMS Indefatigable was one of the Ardent class 64-gun third-rate ships-of-the-line designed by Sir Thomas Slade in 1761 for the Royal Navy. She was built as a ship-of-the-line, but most of her active service took place after her conversion to a 44-gun razee frigate. She had a long career under several distinguished commanders, serving throughout the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. She took some 27 prizes, alone or in company, and the Admiralty authorised the issue of four clasps to the Naval General Service Medal in 1847 to any surviving members of her crews from the respective actions She was broken up in 1816.

    Construction.

    Indefatigable was ordered on 3 August 1780 (long after Slade's death), and her keel was laid down in May 1781 at the Bucklers Hard shipyard in Hampshire owned by Henry Adams. She was launched in early July 1784 and completed from 11 July to 13 September of that year at Portsmouth Dockyard as a 64-gun two-decked third rate for the Royal Navy. She had cost £25,210 4s 5d to build; her total initial cost including fitting out and coppering was £36,154 18s 7d By that time, she was already anachronistic for the role of a ship of the line as the French only built the more powerful 74-gun ships and was never commissioned in that role.

    Design modification.

    In 1794, she was razéed; her upper gun deck was cut away to convert her into a large and heavily armed frigate. The original intention was to retain her twenty-six 24-pounder guns on her gundeck, and to mount eight 12-pounder guns on her quarterdeck and a further four on her forecastle, which would have rated her as a 38-gun vessel. However, it was at this time that the carronade was becoming more popular in the Navy, and her intended armament was altered on 5 December 1794 with the addition of four 42-pounder carronades to go on her quarterdeck and two on her forecastle. Indefatigable was thereafter rated as a 44-gun fifth-rate frigate, along with Magnanime and Anson, which were converted at about the same time. The work was carried out at Portsmouth from September 1794 to February 1795 at a cost of £8,764. On 17 February 1795, a further two 12-pounder guns were added to her quarterdeck, though her official rating remained unchanged.

    French Revolutionary Wars.

    Captain Sir Edward Pellew.

    Indefatigable was first commissioned in December 1794 under Captain Sir Edward Pellew. He commanded her until early 1799.

    On 9 March 1795, Indefatigable, Concorde, and Jason captured numerous French prizes: Temeraire, Minerve, Gentille, Regeneration, and a brig and sloop of unknown names In October, the Dutch East Indiaman Zeelilee was wrecked in the Isles of Scilly with the loss of 25 of her 70 crew. Indefatigable rescued the survivors.

    On 20 March 1796, Indefatigable and her squadron chased three French corvettes, of which the Volage of 26 guns ran ashore under a battery at the mouth of the Loire. Volage lost her masts in running ashore, but the French were later able to refloat her. Her two consorts Sagesse and Eclatant escaped into the river. In this action, Amazon had four men wounded.
    The squadron also captured or sank a number of merchant vessels between 11 and 21 March.

    Favorite Sultana, laden with salt—captured;
    Friends, brig, laden with flour—captured;
    Brig of unknown name, in ballast—sunk;
    Chasse maree of unknown name, empty—sunk;
    Providence, chasse maree, laden with wine and brandy—captured;
    Brig of unknown name, laden with empty casks—sunk;
    Four Marys, brig, in ballast—captured;
    Aimable Justine, brig, in ballast—captured;
    Nouvelle Union, brig, in ballast—captured.

    The vessels sharing in the prize money were: Indefatigable, Concorde, Révolutionnaire, Amazon, Argo, and the hired armed cutter Dolly and hired armed lugger Duke of York.

    On 13 April 1796, Indefatigable was in pursuit of a French frigate. Pellew signalled to Revolutionnaire to cut her off from the shore. Revolutionnaire then captured the French frigate Unite after having fired two broadsides into her. Unite had nine men killed and 11 wounded; Revolutionnaire had no casualties. The Royal Navy took the frigate into service as HMS Unite.


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    Virginie fighting HMS Indefatigable.


    On the morning of 20 April 1796, Indefatigable sighted the French 44-gun frigate Virginie off the Lizard.Indefatigable, Amazon, and Concorde chased Virginie, with Indefatigable catching her just after midnight on 21 April after a chase of 15 hours and 168 miles. After an hour and three quarters of fighting, she still had not struck and had somewhat outmaneuvered Indefatigable when Concorde arrived. Seeing that she was outnumbered, Virginie struck.

    Virginie carried 44 guns, 18 and 9-pounders, and had a crew of 340 men under the command of Citizen Bergeret, Capitaine de Vaisseau. She had 14 or 15 men killed, 17 badly wounded, and 10 slightly. She also had four feet of water in her hold from shot holes. Indefatigable had no casualties. Pellew sent Virginie into Plymouth under the escort of Concorde, and followed the next day with Amazon, which had sustained some damage. The Royal Navy took Virginie into service as Virginie.

    In July 1796, there was an initial distribution of £20,000 of prize money for the capture of Unite and Virginie. Indefatigable shared this with Amazon, Revolutionnaire, Concorde, and Argo. Apparently, Duke of York also shared in some or all of the prize money.In 1847, the Admiralty authorised the issue of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Indefatigable 20 Apl. 1796"

    On 12 June, Indefatigable, Amazon, Concorde, Revolutionaire, and Phoebe took two French brigs off Ushant – the Trois Couleurs and the Blonde (alias Betsey) – after a chase of 24 hours. Trois Couleurs carried 10 guns and a crew of 70. Blonde had 16 guns and a crew of 95 men. Each was under the command of an ensign de vaisseau and both vessels had left Brest two days earlier for a six-week cruise, but had not yet taken any prizes.

    In September 1796, Indefatigable, Phoebe, Revolutionnaire, and Amazon captured five Spanish ships.

    On 1 October, Indefatigable, Amazon, Revolutionnaire, Phoebe, and Jason shared in the capture of the Vrow Delenea Maria.The next day, Pellew and Indefatigable captured the privateer schooner Ariel of Boston off Corunna.] Earlier, Pellew had recaptured the brig Queen of Naples, which had been sailing from Lisbon to Cork. From her, he learned that there were two privateers around Corunna, one of which had captured a brig from Lisbon with a cargo of bale goods two days earlier. Pellew immediately set off towards Corunna and was able to intercept the Ariel. She had 12 guns and a crew of 75 men. She was 14 days out of Bordeaux. Her consort, the schooner Vengeur, was of the same strength, and Pellew yet hoped to catch her, too. The brig from Bristol, however, had made it into the port of Ferrol, where Pellew had earlier chased two French frigates.

    In January 1797, Indefatigable and Amazon captured the packet Sangossee. On 7 January, Indefatigable and Amazon captured the Emanuel. Later that month, Indefatigable fought her most famous battle.

    Action of 13 January 1797.

    The Action of 13 January 1797 was an engagement off the Penmarks involving the two frigates Indefatigable and Amazon against the French Droits de l'Homme, a 74-gun ship of the line. The battle ended with Droits de l'Homme being driven onto shore in a gale. Amazon also ran onto the shore; still, almost her entire crew survived both the battle and the grounding and were captured. Despite being embayed and having damaged masts and rigging, Indefatigable was able to repair the damage and beat off the lee shore, showing excellent seamanship. She had only 19 officers and men wounded, with most of those not being serious. This action won the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Indefatigable 13 Jany. 1797" for any crew surviving in 1847.

    Subsequently, Indefatigable or Pellew's squadron took more vessels, including privateers, primarily in the Channel. Thus, Pellew reported that, on 30 April 1797, "we" captured the French brigantine privateer Basque. She was armed with eight guns and carried a crew of 50 men.

    On 11 May, Indefatigable in company with Phoebe, Cleopatra, Childers, and Duke of York captured Nouvelle Eugénie. She was a razee privateer of 16 guns and carried a crew of 120 men. She was four days out of Nantes on a 30-day cruise, but had taken no prizes. The Royal Navy took her into service as HMS Eugenie.

    On 21 July, the Duke of York returned, having chased a French privateer lugger into the hands of Lieutenant Bray, who commanded the Revenue Cutter Hind. Hind also recaptured a sloop that the privateer had captured. The lugger was armed with two guns and carried a crew of 25 men.

    On 14 October, Indefatigable arrived at Teneriffe. There at midnight she captured the French brig corvette Ranger. Ranger was armed with 14 guns and carried a crew of 70 men. She had been carrying dispatches to the West Indies, which she was able to destroy before capture. The next day, Pellew captured a Spanish schooner carrying a cargo of fish. Indefatigable was short of water, so he put the crew of Ranger on board the schooner (though not Ranger's officers) and sent them ashore at Santa Cruz.

    Ten days after that, Indefatigable captured the privateer Hyène after a chase of eight hours. She was armed with twenty-four 9-pounder guns and had a crew of 230 men. She was two weeks out of Bayonne but had not captured anything.[29] Hyène had apparently mistaken Indefatigable for a vessel from Portuguese India. Pellew estimated that, had she not lost her foretopmast in the chase, she might have escaped. She had been the post-ship Hyaena until her capture in 1793; the Royal Navy took her back into service under her original name.

    Indefatigable returned to the Channel. On 11 January 1798, she was in company with Cambrian and Childers when they captured the French privateer schooner Vengeur. Vengeur was a new vessel of 12 guns and 72 men. She was eight days out of Ostend but had taken no prizes. Pellew sent her into Falmouth.

    Five days later, in the evening of the 16th, Pellew's squadron captured the French privateer Inconcevable. She was armed with eight guns and had a crew of 55 men. She was 10 days out of Dunkirk and had taken nothing. Prize money was paid to Indefatigable, Cambrian, and Success.

    On 28 January, Indefatigable and Cambrian captured the privateer Heureuse Nouvelle. She was armed with 22 guns and had a crew of 130 men. She was 36 days out of Brest and, during that time, had captured only one ship, a large American vessel named the Providence which had a cargo of cotton and sugar. Pellew sent Cambrian in pursuit. Duke of York also shared in the capture.

    On 30 April 1798, Indefatigable captured the brigantine privateer Basque. She was armed with eight guns and had a crew of 50 men. Indefatigable and Cleopatra captured the Hope on 11 July.

    At daylight on 4 August, Indefatigable sighted the privateer Heureux together with a prize and gave chase. The two separated, with the prize heading directly for Bayonne. After a chase of 32 hours on a great circular route, Indefatigable and her quarry found themselves off Bayonne where Indefatigable intercepted the prize and captured her. The privateer was the Heureux, of 16 guns and 112 men. Her prize was the Canada, John Sewell Master, which had been sailing from Jamaica to London, having stopped in Charlestown, with a cargo of sugar, rum, and coffee. Pellew exchanged prisoners, taking off the crew of the Canada and putting on her the crew of Heureux. He then drove Canada on shore where he hoped that her cargo at least would be destroyed.

    Indefatigable captured the French corvette Vaillante while cruising in the Bay of Biscay on 8 August, after a chase of 24 hours, which was under the command of Lieutenant de Vaisseau La Porte. The corvette fired a few shots before she struck. She was armed with twenty-two 9-pounder guns and had a crew of 175 men. She had left Rochefort on 1 August, and the Île de Ré on the 4th, where she had picked up 25 banished priests, 27 convicts, and a Madame Rovere and family, all of whom she was taking to Cayenne. She was only 18 months old, coppered, and a fast sailer. The British took her into service as Danae. On 15 November 1798, Indefatigable captured the Mercurius.

    At dawn on 31 December 1798, Indefatigable captured the Minerve, five leagues off Ushant. She was armed with 16 guns and carried a crew of 140 men. She was four weeks out of Saint-Malo and was waiting to enter Brest when captured. She had taken several prizes, one of which, the Asphalon, Indefatigable captured on 1 January 1799. Aspahalon, a Newcastle vessel, had been sailing from Halifax to London with a cargo of sugar, coffee, and tobacco. Other vessels which Minerve had captured included Martinus (Bremen brig), Tagus (Portuguese brig ), Minerva (English snow), and Ann and Dorothea (aka Beata Maria, Danish schooner).

    On 14 January 1799, Indefatigable captured the Argo. More captures or recaptures of merchantmen followed. Indefatigable, Melpomene, and Nymphe recaptured the Providence on 10 January 1799, the Pomona on 5 February, and the Wohlfarden on 9 February.

    Subsequent commanders.

    From March 1799 until the end of 1800 Indefatigable was under the command of Captain Henry Curzon. On 31 May she captured the brig Vénus. Venus was armed with twelve 4-pounder guns and two 9-pounders, and carried a crew of 101 men. She was nine weeks out of Rochefort and had captured two prizes, the schooner Clarence, sailing from Lisbon to London, and a ship from Lisbon sailing to Hamburg with a cargo of salt. Indefatigable was apparently also in company with Fisgard and Diamond.

    On 9 October 1799 Indefatigable, Diamond, Cambrian, Stag, Nymphe and Cerberus shared in the capture of the Spanish brig Nostra Senora de la Solidad. Then on 7 November Nymphe, Indefatigable and Diamond shared in the recapture of the ship Brailsford.

    Then on 6 January 1800 Indefatigable shared with Defiance, Unicorn, Sirius and Stag in the capture of the French brig Ursule. On 11 February Indefatigable captured the Vidette.

    On 12 June 1800, Indefatigable captured the French privateer brig Vengeur. She was armed with six long 4-pounders and ten 18-pounder carronades, and carried a crew of 102 men. She was two days out of Bordeaux and sailing for the coast of Brazil. Vengeur was sailing in company with three letters of marque – a ship, a brig and a schooner – that were bound for Guadeloupe. On 11 June Vengeur had captured the Jersey-privateer lugger Snake.] Indefatigable shared the prize money with Sirius (1797).

    On 3 July Indefatigable recaptured the brig Cultivator, from the French. Eleven days later, Indefatigable and Sirius captured the French ship Favori. The next day Bordelais (or Bourdelois) captured the Phoenix. Indefatigable, Sirius and Boadicea shared with Bordelais by agreement, and Shannon further shared with Bordelais.]

    Indefatigable then was with Sir John Borlase Warren's squadron at Ferrol. She apparently did not participate in the attack on a fort at the bay of Playa de Dominos (Doniños) on 25 August 1800.

    On 22 October Indefatigable, took the French 28-gun frigate Vénus off the Portuguese coast. Indefatigable had been chasing Venus from the morning when in the afternoon Fisgard came in sight and forced Venus to turn. Both British vessels arrived at Venus at almost the same time (7pm). Venus was armed with 32-guns and had a crew of 200 men. She was sailing from Rochefort to Senegal. Indefatigable and Fisgard shared the prize money with Boadicea, Diamond, Urania, and the hired armed schooner Earl St Vincent.

    In January 1801 Indefatigable was under Captain Matthew Scott. Indefatigable was part of the squadron that shared by agreement in the prize money from the Temeraire, which Dasher had captured on 30 May. Similarly, the same vessels shared by agreement in Dasher's capture of Bien Aimé on 23 July 1801. Indefatigable was then paid off later that year. Indefatigable was laid up in ordinary at Plymouth in March to April 1802, as a result of the peace of October 1801.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    Following the resumption of hostilities, the Indefatigable was fitted out for sea between July and September 1803. She was recommissioned under Captain Graham Moore, younger brother of Sir John Moore of Rifle Brigade and Corunna fame.

    Action of 5 October 1804.

    Indefatigable, with Moore as Commodore, and frigates Medusa, Lively, and Amphion intercepted four Spanish frigates off Cadiz under the command of Rear-Admiral Don Joseph Bustamente, Knight of the Order of St. James, on 5 October 1804.] They were carrying bullion from Montevideo, South America to Spain. Spain was a neutral country at the time, but was showing strong signs of declaring war in alliance with Napoleonic France. Acting on Admiralty orders, Moore required the Spaniards to change their course and sail for England. Admiral Bustamente refused and a short engagement ensued.

    First Mercedes blew up. Then Indefatigable captured Medée, and Lively captured Clara. After a further chase, Lively and Medusa captured Fama.

    Medée the flagship was armed with forty-two 18-pounder guns on her main deck and had a crew of 300 men. She lost two men killed and 10 wounded.
    Fama, the Commodore's ship, was armed with thirty-six 12-pounder guns on her main deck and had a crew of 180 men. She lost 11 killed and 50 wounded.
    Clara was armed with thirty-six 12-pounder guns on her main deck and had a crew of 300 men. She lost seven killed and 20 wounded.
    Mercedes was armed with thirty-six 12-pounder guns on her main deck and had a crew of 280 men. After she exploded, the British were only able to rescue her second captain and 40 men.

    Indefatigable had no casualties. Amphion had five men wounded, one badly. Lively had two killed and four wounded. Indefatigable and Amphion escorted Medée and Fama to Plymouth. Medusa and Lively brought in Clara. The Royal Navy took Medea into service as Iphigenia and Clara as Leocadia.

    The value of the treasure was very large and, if it had been treated as Prize of War, then Moore and his brother captains would have become extremely wealthy. As it was, the money and ships were declared to be "Droits of Admiralty" on the grounds that war had not been declared, and the captains and crew shared a relatively small ex gratia payment of £160,000 for the bullion, plus the proceeds of the sale of the hull and cargo.

    Normal operations.


    In October 1805 Indefatigable, now under Captain John Tremayne Rodd (−1809), was part of the blockade of Brest. One boat each from the ships of the line of the squadron, plus three boats each from Indefatigable and Iris entered the Gironde on 15 July 1806 to attack two French corvettes and a convoy. A change in the wind permitted all but one corvette to escape. The British captured the French corvette César (or Caesar), which the Royal Navy took into service as HMS Cesar. She was armed with 18 guns, had a crew of 86 men, and was under the command of Monsieur Louis Francois Hector Fourré, Lieutenant de Vaisseau. The French were expecting the attack and put up a strong resistance. The British lost six men killed, 36 wounded and 21 missing. Indefatigable alone lost two killed and 11 wounded. The 21 missing men were in a boat from Revenge; a later report suggested that most, if not all, had been taken prisoner. Most of the boats in the attack were so shot through that the British later abandoned them. The vessels claiming prize money included Pilchard and the hired armed lugger Nile, in addition to the various ships of the line and frigates. This cutting out expedition resulted in the participants qualifying for the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "16 July Boat Service 1806".

    About a year later, on 19 October 1806, Indefatigable, Hazard and Atalante captured the chasse marees Achille, Jenny and Marianne. On 5 December 1807 Indefatigable captured the Pamelia. Then on the day after Christmas, Indefatigable and Tribune captured the American ship Eliza.

    On 7 January 1808 Indefatigable and Tribune captured the French galiot Fanny and her cargo.

    Then on 31 July, Indefatigable, in company with the gun-brig Conflict, captured the letter of marque Diane, which was on her way to Île de France, carrying letters and dispatches that she threw overboard during the chase, as well as naval stores.] She was six years old, had a burthen of 482 tons), was armed with fourteen 9 and 6-pounder guns and had a crew of 68 men. She had left the Gironde the evening before on this, her second voyage, to India.

    On 19 August Indefatigable, still in company with Conflict, captured the Adele. In December a distribution of ₤10,000 was payable for the proceeds from the Diane and the Adele. On 1 and 9 September 1808 Indefatigable captured two American ships, the Sally and the Peggy. Theseus and Impeteuex were in company with Indefatigable at the time. On 1 November Indefatigable captured the Bonne Louise.

    On 14 January 1809 Indefatigable captured French privateer lugger Clarisse in the Channel. She was pierced for 14 guns but had only three mounted. She had left Saint-Malo the evening before and had not made any captures. At the time of the capture, Amazon, Iris, Raleigh, and Goldfinch were in sight. They shared with Indefatigable in the proceeds for the hull, but not the bounty money for the captured crew. On 20 February Statira captured the French schooner Matilda. Indefatigable was in company.

    Indefatigable arrived at the Basque Roads on 25 February. While there she captured two vessels, the Danish ship Neptunus on 24 March and the French ship Nymphe on 28 March. For the capture of Neptunus Indefatigable was in company with the sloops Foxhound and Goldfinch. Foxhound was also in company for the capture of Nymphe.

    In April 1809 Indefatigable participated in the battle of the Basque Roads. The action earned her crew another clasp to the Naval General Service Medal: "Basque Roads 1809".

    : Battle of the Basque Roads.

    In October 1809 Indefatigable was under Captain Henry E. R. Baker Captain John Broughton succeeded him in December 1809 and remained in command until 1812.

    On 11 January 1810, Indefatigable captured Mouche № 26 near Cap de Peñas. Under the command of Enseigne de vausseau provisorie Fleury She had sailed from Pasajes with despatches for Île de France. The next day Mouche № 26 foundered near the Penmarks. Fleury, presumably among others, was drowned.

    Four months later, on 6 May Indefatigable captured two French chasse marees, the Camilla and the Bonne Rencontre; Scipion and Piercer were in company. Next, Indefatigable captured the Flora on 13 June. On 20 October Indefatigable re-captured the Portuguese brig Intrigua.

    On 15 January 1811, Dryad captured the Matilda and her cargo. Indefatigable and Lyra were in sight.

    Then in June 1812, under Captain John Fyffe on the South American station, Indefatigable visited the Galápagos Islands. During this cruise she gave the second largest island, now known as Santa Cruz island, its English name – Indefatigable.

    By July Indefatigable was back in Portsmouth. When news of the outbreak of the War of 1812 reached Britain, the Royal Navy seized all American vessels then in British ports. Indefatigable was among the Royal Navy vessels then lying at Spithead or Portsmouth and so entitled to share in the grant for the American ships Belleville, Janus, Aeos, Ganges and Leonidas seized there on 31 July 1812.

    On 17 September Indefatigable, Hearty, Desiree, Drake, Primrose, and Cretan shared in the capture of the Dankbarheide.[84] When the gun-brig Hearty detained the Prussian vessel Friede on 29 September, Indefatigable, Desiree, Primrose, Cretan, Drake, were either in company or sharing by agreement.

    Fate.

    Indefatigable was finally paid off in 1815.[5] She was broken up at Sheerness in August 1816.

    In fiction.

    C. S. Forester chose Indefatigable under Pellew as the ship on which his fictional hero Horatio Hornblower spent most of his time as a midshipman in the novel Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. The Spanish flotilla incident is referred to by Forester in the novel Hornblower and the Hotspur. Indefatigable is featured even more prominently in the Hornblower television series.
    Patrick O'Brian fictionalises this Spanish Flotilla incident in Post Captain, the second of his Aubrey–Maturin series of novels. In this novel, Captain Aubrey is in temporary command of HMS Lively, one of the other ships in the British squadron under the command of Moore.
    Alexander Kent mentions the Spanish Flotilla incident in a novel.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    HMS Imperieuse .

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    She was a 38-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Built in Ferrol, Spain, for the Spanish Navy she was launched as Medea in 1797. In 1804 she was part of a squadron carrying gold from South America to Spain that was seized by the British while Spain and Britain were at peace. Medea was subsequently taken into service with the Royal Navy and was briefly named HMS Iphigenia before being renamed Imperieuse in 1805.



    In 1806 command of Imperieuse was given to Lord Cochrane. She was dispatched to the Mediterranean where she undertook a series of notable exploits, capturing a large number of war prizes and carrying out raids against enemy positions along the French and Spanish coastline. After a brief return to England, Imperieuse assisted with the attack on the French fleet at Basque Roads in 1809. During the battle she was heavily engaged, assisting with the destruction of four French ships of the line and a frigate. Later that year she took part in the unsuccessful Walcheren Campaign.



    In 1811 Imperieuse returned to the Mediterranean under the command of Henry Duncan where she was employed along the coast of Italy, operating with success against Neapolitan and French shipping and shore fortifications. She returned to England in 1814 and was paid off and placed in ordinary the following year. Converted to a quarantine ship in 1818, she was eventually sold and broken up in 1838.




    Spanish service.



    Medea was a 40-gun frigate of the Spanish Navy designed by Julian Martin de Retamosa. She was launched in Ferrol in November 1797, and was given the religious alias Santa Bárbara. Her dimensions were 147 feet 2 inches (44.9 m) along the gun deck, 122 feet 4 14 inches (37.3 m) at the keel, with a beam of 40 feet 1 inch (12.2 m) and a depth in the hold of 12 feet (3.7 m). This made her 1,045  ​ tons burthen (bm).


    Battle of Cape Santa Maria.



    Action of 5 October 1804



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    Medea (fourth ship from the left) in close action with HMS Indefatigable.



    In August 1804, Medea was commanded by Capitán Francisco de Piedrola y Verdugo when she departed Montevideo for Cadiz. She was accompanied by the frigates Fama, Mercedes and Santa Clara and carried Rear Admiral José de Bustamante y Guerra who assumed overall command of the squadron. Receiving intelligence the Spanish ships were laden with treasure that was to be used to bolster Spanish finances prior to a declaration of war against Great Britain, the Royal Navy sent a squadron of four frigates to seize the Spanish ships and their cargo.



    The British intercepted the Spanish squadron off the southern coast of Portugal on 5 October and demanded their surrender but Bustamante refused. HMS Indefatigable, the British flagship commanded by Captain Graham Moore, fired a warning shot across Medea's bow and a general exchange of fire subsequently broke out between the squadrons. After ten minutes Mercedes was destroyed by an explosion in her magazine and soon after Santa Clara and Medea, which had been in close action with Indefatigable, both surrendered. Fama broke away in an attempt to escape but was captured hours later by HMS Lively. Medea suffered two killed and ten wounded. The capture of the squadron incited outrage in Spain and hastened a formal declaration of war against Britain in December.

    British service.

    The captured Medea arrived at Plymouth dockyard in October 1804 and was subsequently taken into service with the Royal Navy. She was initially registered as HMS Iphigenia but renamed HMS Imperieuse in December 1805. Between February and November 1806 she underwent a large repair at Plymouth. Classed as a 38-gun fifth-rate, she was given twenty-eight 18-pounder (8.2 kg) cannon on the upper deck, ten 32-pounder (15 kg) carronades on the quarterdeck and two 9-pounder (4.1 kg) and two 32-pounder (15 kg) carronades on her forecastle.

    Bay of Biscay.

    On 2 September 1806 Lord Cochrane was commissioned as the captain of Imperieuse. After her repairs were completed in November, Imperieuse joined a British squadron under Commodore Richard Keats stationed off Basque Roads. Cochrane was given orders to cruise independently of the squadron and captured two prizes off Les Sables d'Olonne on 19 December and another at the entrance of the Garonne on 31 December. On 7 January 1807 a number of boats from Imperieuse led by Lieutenant David Mapleton stormed a fort protecting the Arcachon Bay destroying its battery of four 36-pounders, two field guns and a 13-inch mortar. Requiring repairs to her rudder, Imperieuse returned to Plymouth in February 1807.

    Mediterranean.

    After Cochrane was given a leave of absence due to ill-health, Captain Alexander Skene took temporary command of Imperieuse and she sailed for Ushant to join a blockading fleet off Brest. She returned to Plymouth in August 1807 whereupon Cochrane resumed command and was given orders to escort a convoy of merchant ships to Malta. She arrived at Valletta in October and proceeded north to join the Mediterranean Fleet off Toulon. On 14 November, Imperieuse encountered an armed polacre off the coast of Montecristo which Cochrane suspected was a Genoese privateer. After the polacre's captain refused to allow boats from Imperieuse to investigate the ship, she was captured in a brief but violent boarding action which cost Imperieuse two killed and 13 wounded, and the privateer one dead and 15 wounded. However, the polacre later proved to be Maltese—a friendly vessel—operating under a letter of marque.




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    Lord Cochrane's exploits in the Mediterranean earned Imperieuse a reputation as a highly effective coastal raider


    In December 1807, Imperieuse was given a two-month cruise in the Adriatic and seized three merchant vessels carrying illegal licences to trade. She was subsequently dispatched to the western Mediterranean in February where she sank two gunboats and captured a third off the coast of Cartagena, Spain. On 21 February 1808 Imperieuse launched a surprise attack on a French privateer—L'Orient—and two merchant vessels moored under the gun batteries at Almeria. Flying a neutral US flag—a legitimate ruse de guerre—she anchored alongside the privateer before swiftly hoisting her British colours and launching her boats in a cutting out expedition led by Lieutenant Edward Hunt Caulfield. Although the Spanish battery consequently opened fire, all three enemy vessels were taken with little damage. During the boarding action Caulfield was killed by a volley of musketry as he leapt aboard the privateer and 10 others were injured. After bringing her prizes in to Gibraltar, Imperieuse sailed for the Balearic Islands on 5 March. Patrolling the coasts of Majorca and Menorca, she captured 10 small prizes and bombarded the Spanish army barracks at Ciutadella. She then proceeded to carry out a series of raids along the coast of Catalonia before returning to Gibraltar for a refit.



    In June 1808, Spain switched allegiance and became an ally of Britain, and Cochrane was subsequently given orders by Vice Admiral Lord Collingwood, Commander of the Mediterranean fleet, to assist Spanish efforts to drive the French garrison out of Barcelona. Arriving at Port Mahon on 16 July, Imperieuse, HMS Hind and HMS Kent escorted a convoy of Spanish troops from Majorca to the mainland. Cochrane then proceeded to disrupt the French supply lines sending landing parties ashore to attack the main coastal road between Barcelona and Blanes and assisted Catalan militia in the capture of a castle at Montgat.



    Imperieuse arrived off the mouth of the Rhône on 16 August and proceeded to destroy a string of signal stations and barracks along the French coast. On 7 September, Imperieuse was joined by HMS Spartan commanded by Captain Jahleel Brenton, and continued amphibious operations against the French. At dawn on 10 September, boats from Imperieuse and Spartan launched an attack on a series of gun batteries near Port-Vendres. Landing at the southernmost battery, the guns were briskly spiked and barracks blown up. As French troops gathered to respond to the threat, Cochrane and Brenton responded by sending a detachment of boats filled with the ship's boys disguised in the scarlet jackets of the Royal Marines to launch a diversionary attack to the north. Meanwhile the main assault successfully destroyed the remaining batteries while Imperieuse anchored close to the shore and drove back an advancing body of cavalry with grapeshot. Three days later Imperieuse and Spartan captured five merchant vessels and Spartan subsequently returned to port with the prizes while Imperieuse continued with her cruise.



    Imperieuse arrived at the Gulf of Roses in November to assist with the defence of Rosas which was under siege by some 12,000 French and Italian troops under General Honoré Charles Reille. Situated on the coastal road linking France to Barcelona, the town was flanked by a citadel and a fort built on a promontory near the coast. Although a breach had been created by French cannon on high ground to the east, Cochrane assumed command of the fort and brought over two-thirds of his crew ashore to lay booby traps and bolster its defences. After gaining possession of the town the French launched an assault on the fort on 30 November which was repulsed with heavy losses inflicted on the attackers. However, on 5 December, the Spanish garrison in the citadel surrendered and Cochrane found his position in the fort untenable. Covered by the Imperieuse's guns, Cochrane and his men returned to their ship and set off demolition charges which partially destroyed the fort. Continuing northward along the Catalonian coast Imperieuse sighted a convoy of French merchant vessels moored near Cadaqués. Cochrane brought Imperieuse inshore and captured eleven vessels laden with supplies for the French army and the convoy's escorts—a 7-gun cutter and 5-gun lugger.




    Battle of Basque Roads.



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    Imperieuse advancing on the grounded French fleet on the morning of the 12th of April 1809. Robert Dodd (1748–1815)

    Imperieuse returned to Plymouth on 19 March 1809 and was ordered to depart again just 10 days later to join Admiral Lord Gambier's blockading squadron at Basque Roads, France. A French fleet lay at anchor in the narrow roadstead and the British Admiralty sought to destroy it by means of a fire ship attack planned and executed by Cochrane. Arriving at Basque Roads on 3 April Cochrane took Imperieuse inshore to reconnoitre the French position and began preparations for an assault against the eleven French ships of the line and two frigates anchored in a narrow channel under the batteries of the Île-d'Aix. On 11 April, three explosion vessels and 20 fire ships were launched against the French position while Imperieuse, HMS Aigle, HMS Pallas and HMS Unicorn took up position north of the anchorage to receive the crews returning from the fire ships. Although the fire ships inflicted only minor damage, all but two French vessels ran aground in the estuary of the River Charente while attempting to escape the threat.



    Imperieuse was the closest British ship to the anchorage and the first to observe the grounded French fleet at dawn the following day. Cochrane was eager to follow up the attack and spent the morning issuing a frantic series of signals to Gambier imploring him to dispatch the British fleet which were ignored. As a consequence Cochrane allowed Imperieuse to slowly drift towards the French ships and made a final signal which he believed Gambier could not overlook: "The ship is in distress and requires to be assisted immediately". Imperieuse subsequently brought her starboard broadside to bear upon Calcutta, Aquilon and Ville de Varsovie, and opened fire, inflicting severe damage upon the Calcutta's hull. Gambier reluctantly dispatched a squadron of British ships to support Imperieuse prompting the demoralised crew of the Calcutta to abandon ship. Cochrane sent boats to take possession of her but the vessel was mistakenly set on fire and destroyed. The British reinforcements formed a line of battle and opened fire, forcing the surrender of two ships of the line and the scuttling of another. During the engagement Imperieuse suffered extensive damage to her masts, rigging and sails in addition to three dead and eleven wounded.



    The British ships were ordered to return to the main fleet in Basque Roads at dawn the following day but Imperieuse remained—Cochrane argued the orders only applied to his reinforcements—and she was joined by Pallas, HMS Beagle, HMS Aetna and eight other smaller ships. Cochrane ordered a renewed attack on the remaining grounded ships but it had little effect. On the morning of 14 April Gambier directed a signal of recall to the Imperieuse and the next day she was ordered back to England with Gambier's dispatches.

    Walcheren Campaign.

    After creating a scandal by publicly denouncing Gambier's conduct at Basque Roads, Cochrane's naval career was ruined and he turned his attention to politics. In June 1809 command of Imperieuse passed to Captain Thomas Garth who set sail from the Downs on 30 July with a large British fleet bound for the Netherlands. The fleet formed part of the unsuccessful Walcheren Campaign – a joint expedition with the army that aimed to destroy French dockyards at Flushing and Antwerp. While ascending the River Scheldt on 16 August, Imperieuse mistakenly entered a channel which took her within range of a fort at Terneuzen. During an exchange of cannonade Imperieuse discharged a number of Shrapnel shells from her carronades, one of which exploded in the fort's magazine. Consequently, some 3,000 barrels of gunpowder exploded killing 75 men of the fort's garrison.

    Return to the Mediterranean.

    On 22 September 1810, Captain Henry Duncan assumed command of Imperieuse in Gibraltar and in June the following year she was dispatched to the Mediterranean to join the Royal Navy's blockading fleet off Toulon. The commander of the fleet, Sir Edward Pellew, gave Imperieuse orders to patrol the coast of Naples and on 11 October Duncan discovered three gunboats moored under a fort at Positano. Boats from Imperieuse under the command of Lieutenant Eaton Stannard Travers were sent to silence the fort. Despite coming under heavy musket fire, the British sailors drove out the fort's defenders and destroyed the battery before returning to their boats and capturing two of the gunboats. During the attack one marine was killed and two crewmen injured while Imperieuse, which had come under heavy fire from the fort, had her foretopsail yard shot away.



    Imperieuse was subsequently joined by the 32-gun frigate HMS Thames commanded by Captain Charles Napier. On 19 October, they anchored near Palinuro and dispatched their boats to the shore, capturing 10 armed polacres laden with oil.[ Two days later they discovered 10 Neapolitan gunboats and several merchant vessels moored under a fort in the port at Palinuro. Deeming their numbers insufficient to attack the port, Duncan dispatched Thames to British-occupied Sicily to request reinforcements and on 28 October she returned with 250 men of the 62nd Regiment of Foot.[ On 1 November the infantry and a party of marines and sailors launched their attack, capturing the high ground overlooking the harbour. The following morning Imperieuse and Thames bore down on the port and ran along within close range of the gunboats while discharging their broadsides, sinking two of the vessels and forcing the surrender of the others. They then anchored close to the fort and commenced a brisk cannonade that forced the fort to surrender within 30 minutes. Over the next two days the fort was blown up and once the troops re-embarked the two frigates departed with six gunboats and 22 feluccas and 20 large spars.

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    The Leviathan, Imperieuse, Curacoa, and Eclair attacking two towns on the coast of Genoa, June 27th 1812



    In June 1812, Imperieuse was part of a squadron commanded by Captain Patrick Campbell of the 74-gun ship of the line HMS Leviathan patrolling the western coast of Italy. On 27 June, the squadron launched boats to attack a convoy of 18 French vessels anchored off Alassio and Laigueglia. Although the British destroyed two batteries on the shore, they encountered heavy resistance from the French defenders. Attempts to bring off the French vessels were abandoned and they were instead destroyed by the British guns. While carrying out the expedition Imperieuse sustained four killed and eleven wounded.



    Later that year Imperieuse returned to Port Mahon for an extensive refit and while she was undergoing repairs Duncan was offered the command of the frigates HMS Resistance and HMS Undaunted. However, he decided to remain with Imperieuse after receiving a letter from the crew expressing their admiration for the captain and their desire for him to remain with the ship. In April 1813 Imperieuse departed Mahon leading a squadron of three frigates and two brigs to resume the blockade of Naples.



    In September the squadron arrived off the Port of Anzio where it discovered a French convoy of 29 merchant vessels protected by two batteries on a mole, a tower to the north and another battery covering the mole to the south. The squadron was reinforced by the 74-gun HMS Edinburgh under Captain George Dundas on 5 October and an attack on the port was launched that same day. Imperieuse and Resistance took up position opposite the mole, HMS Swallow anchored near the tower while HMS Eclair, HMS Pylades and Edinburgh took station alongside the covering battery. After opening fire, a landing party led by Lieutenant Travers captured the southern battery while another of Imperieuse's officers, Lieutenant Mapleton, led a party that took possession of the mole. The batteries were subsequently blown up by the British and the entire convoy was captured without any losses sustained by the attackers.

    Fate.

    After the Treaty of Paris and the end of hostilities with France, Imperieuse returned to England in July 1814 and upon arrival Duncan was appointed to the newly built fifth-rate frigate HMS Glasgow. Imperieuse briefly came under the command of Captain Philip Dumaresq and Captain Joseph James before she was paid off and placed in ordinary at Sheerness in 1815. In 1818 she was converted to a lazarette (quarantine ship) and moved to Stangate Creek in the estuary of the River Medway. In September 1838, she was sold at Sheerness for £1,705 and subsequently broken up at Rotherhithe.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  9. #9
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    HMS Aigle


    She was a 36-gun, fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Ordered on 15 September 1799 and built at Bucklers Hard shipyard, she was launched 23 September 1801. More than fifty of her crew were involved in the Easton Massacre when she visited Portland in April 1803 to press recruits. Much of her career as a frigate was spent in home waters where she fought the Battle of Basque Roads in 1809; initially providing support to the crews of the fireships, then forcing the surrender of the stranded French ships, Varsovie and Aquilon. Later that year she left The Downs to take part in the Walcheren Campaign where she carried out a two-day long bombardment of Flushing, leading to its capitulation on 15 August.



    In October 1811, Aigle was sent to the Mediterranean where she and her crew raided the island of Elba before being asked to provide naval support during the invasion and occupation of Genoa. Refitted in January 1820, her square stern was replaced with a circular one, giving her a wider angle of fire and improved protection at the rear. Converted to a corvette in 1831, she returned to the Mediterranean under Lord Paget. From 1852, she became a coal hulk, then a receiving ship before being used as a target for torpedoes and broken up in 1870.

    Construction and armament.

    History

    United Kingdom
    Name: HMS Aigle
    Ordered: 15 September 1798
    Builder: Balthazar and Edward Adams
    Cost: £14,335
    Launched: 23 September 1801
    Commissioned: December 1802
    General characteristics
    Class and type: Aigle-class fifth-rate frigate
    Tons burthen: 970
    Length: ·146 ft 2 in (44.6 m) (gundeck)
    ·122 ft 1 in (37.2 m) (keel)
    Beam: 38 ft 8 in (11.8 m)
    Depth of hold: 13 ft 0 in (4.0 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Fully Rigged Ship
    Complement: 264
    Armament: ·Gundeck: 26 × 18-pounder guns
    ·QD: 4 × 9-pounder guns + 8 × 32-pounder carronades
    ·Fc: 2 × 9-pounder guns + 2 × 32-pounder carronades

    Aigle was the first of two, Aigle-class frigates designed by naval surveyor, Sir John Henslow. Built under contract by Balthazar Adams, she was ordered on 15 September 1798 and her keel was laid down in November at Bucklers Hard shipyard in Hampshire. Launched on 23 September 1801, her dimensions were: 146 feet 2 inches (44.6 metres) along the gun deck, 122 ft 1 in (37.2 m) at the keel, with a beam of 38 ft 8 in (11.8 m) and a depth in the hold of 13 ft 0 in (4.0 m). This made her 970 ​tons burthen .



    Although classed as a 36-gun fifth-rate, Aigle was armed with a main battery of twenty-six 18 pounders (8.2 kilograms) on her upper gun deck, four 9 pdr (4.1 kg) on the quarter deck and two on the forecastle. She additionally carried ten 32 pdr (15 kg) carronades, eight on the quarter deck and two on the forecastle.

    Service.



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    A plaque in St George's Church, Portland, remembering two quarrymen, a blacksmith and a young lady who died during the Easton Massacre

    Aigle was first commissioned for the English Channel, under Captain George Wolfe in December 1802. A large press gang from Aigle, of more than 50 marines and sailors, led by Wolfe, put ashore in Portland on 2 April 1803. In what became known as the Easton Massacre, a scuffle broke out between the inhabitants and Wolfe's forces. Several civilians were shot and four were killed, while sixteen members of the press gang received injuries. Nine were wounded so seriously they had to be discharged. Wolfe and three officers stood trial for murder but were acquitted and left Portland, aboard Aigle, on 10 April to continue their patrol in home waters. Taking a French frigate, Franchise on 28 May, Aigle went on to capture six merchant vessels over the course of a week. A French privateer, Alerte, of 14 guns was taken on 27 September, off Vigo.

    Not far from the Cordouan Lighthouse, on 12 July 1804, Aigle encountered two French naval vessels, the 20-gun Charente and the 8-gun Joie out of Rochefort. At 17:00 Aigle caught up with them. The French ships shortened sail and looked as if they were about to do battle but after discharging their guns, both ran aground. Many of the French sailors were drowned when the boats they were attempting to escape in were engulfed by the large waves. Unable to re-float the stranded ships due to the heavy swell; Wolfe ordered them destroyed.



    Boats from Aigle were sent after some small craft, seen in the early hours of 27 November 1804 in the Bay of Gibraltar. On hearing some small-arms fire, Captain Thomas Dundas in Naiad set off in the direction of the noise and discovered a flotilla of Spanish gun-boats of which he managed to capture two. The boats and crew of Aigle were recovered without loss of life.



    In January 1805 Aigle accidentally ran down and sank His Majesty's hired armed schooner Flying Fish. Aigle rescued the crew. That same month the Danish vessel Frederica Dorothea foundered while sailing from Bourdeaux to London. Here too Aigle rescued the crew.



    Temporary command was given to Henry Sturt in February 1805 but Wolfe was back in charge by 21 August 1805, when Aigle discovered a small British squadron under Captain John Tremayne Rodd comprising the frigates Indefatigable and Niobe and three smaller vessels. Rodd had been shadowing the French fleet at Brest under Vice-Admiral Ganteaume, which had since left and was now at anchor between Camaret and Bertheaume. Shortly after her arrival, Aigle was dispatched to update the Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet, Admiral William Cornwallis of this development.



    Nine Spanish gun boats attacked Aigle in Vigo Bay on 28 September 1805. For an hour she had to endure their fire before the wind got up and the previously becalmed Aigle was able to launch a counter-offensive; capturing one gun boat and driving the others away. Two Chasse-marées were taken by the crew of Aigle, in a cutting-out expedition on 15 October 1807 and while cruising with the 32-gun Pallas and 74-gun Gibraltar in December, she assisted with the capture of a Spanish schooner, Bueno Vista. A few days later the same three ships took a French Lugger and had more success in the first quarter of the following year, when four more Chasse-marées were seized and a former British brig, Margaret was recaptured.

    Action off Groix.

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    A painting by Thomas Whitcombe thought to be Aigle capturing Le Sirene.



    Aigle was in action again on 22 March 1808 against two large, French frigates; Italienne of 40 guns and the 38-gun Sirene. A squadron comprising Aigle, the 32-gun frigate Narcissus, the two seventy-fours Impétueux and Saturn, and two or three smaller vessels were anchored between the Glénan islands, whilst being resupplied by a transport convoy. At 15:45, two French frigates to the south-east were simultaneously seen from Aigle's masthead and by the British schooner Cuckoo, which was stationed midway between the squadron and the island of Groix. Aigle immediately gave chase, and coming within hailing distance at 19:30, Wolfe directed Cuckoo to relay to Impétueux and Narcissus, now following two miles behind, his intention to cut off the French ships by sailing between Groix and the mainland.



    An hour later, having endured the fire of the guns on both shores, Aigle was in a position to attack the rear-most frigate of the pair as they emerged from the western side of the island. This frigate sought the shelter of Groix' batteries, so Aigle set off in pursuit of the other which was now making for Lorient. As it was now dark, Aigle displayed a blue light to indicate her position to the closing Impétueux, and at 21:00, coming within 50 yards, exchanged fire with the Frenchman. To prevent a boarding, which Wolfe was determined upon, the frigate came about and, shortly after the British had broken off their attack for lack of sea room, ran aground on the Pointe de Chats on the eastern edge of Groix.


    Saturn, Narcissus and Cuckoo joined Aigle and Impétueux during the night and the following morning at dawn, the five British returned to the island but no further attempt was made on either of the French frigates. Six days later the stranded ship was re-floated and both vessels arrived safely in Lorient.



    Early in 1809, Aigle was back chasing merchantmen, securing five in January and February.

    Battle of Basque Roads.



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    Map illustrating the position of Aigle off the Boyart Shoal shortly before the British attack on the night of 11 April

    Aigle was part of the fleet under Admiral James Gambier that fought the Battle of the Basque Roads in April 1809. The French ships were anchored under the protection of the powerful batteries on the Isle d'Aix when on 11 April Lord Cochrane led an attacking force of fireships and explosive vessels. Just prior to the attack, Aigle took up a position just north-east of the Boyart Shoal; anchored behind HMS Imperieuse, and ahead of Unicorn and Pallas. It was the job of these four frigates to take on board the returning fireship crews and give assistance to the escorting boats, if required. The fireships had a partial success; the French, having anticipated such an attack, had rigged a boom across the channel. One of the explosive vessels however breached the boom, leading the French to cut their cables and drift on to the shoals.



    The following day, after much delay, Gambier took the rest of his fleet into the Basque Roads. The British ships anchored, with springs, in a crescent around the stranded French, and exchanged fire. Aigle took up a position, second in line behind Unicorn, and just ahead of Emerald and Indefatigable. These ships directed their fire mainly towards the French ships of the line, Varsovie and Aquilon, both of which struck at around 17:30.


    Walcheren Campaign.



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    The bombardment of Flushing

    Aigle was part of a large expeditionary force in the summer 1809. Comprising more than 600 vessels and nearly 40,000 troops, it left The Downs on 28 July, intent on destroying the dockyards and arsenals at Antwerp, Terneuse and Flushing, and capturing the French fleet stationed in the river Scheldt.

    Troops were landed on the Island of Walcheren at 16:30 on 30 July, while bomb-vessels and gun-boats began a bombardment of Veere. The town surrendered immediately but it took several days of fighting, before the fort was captured on 1 August. The British then mounted an attack on Flushing, and the island of Zuid-Beveland which was taken unopposed; the forts there having already been deserted. However, the British neglected Cadzand on the south-west side of the Scheldt, where more than 5,700 French troops crossed the river to reinforce Flushing. The capitulation of Fort Rammekens allowed the British to besiege the town on 3 August. and to prevent further aid being sent, a flotilla of gunboats was dispatched to the western arm of the Scheldt, to cut it off on the seaward side. The British then began locating and marking a channel for larger ships on 6 August.

    A large squadron of ten frigates, including Aigle, was eventually able to make its way up the western passage on 9 August, enduring fire from batteries on both sides of the river for more than two hours. Aigle, in the centre, had her stern frame shattered when a shell fell through the deck and exploded, killing a marine and wounding four other members of the crew. She was the only ship to suffer any damage and her casualties amounted to almost half the total of two killed and nine wounded.

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    Sick troops being evacuated from Walcheren on 30 August 1809

    A two-day long bombardment of Flushing forced its capitulation on 15 August. Ratified the following day, it left the British in control of Walcheren which they garrisoned with 10,000 troops. Schouwen and Duiveland on the Eastern branch of the Scheldt, were occupied peacefully on 17 August. The French fleet had already withdrawn to Antwerp however, having been informed on 29 July when the British were still at sea. Between the British and their objective were now more than 35,000 French soldiers, garrisoned in heavily armed forts at Lillo, Liefkenshoech, and Antwerp. The deliberate destruction of dykes by the French had led to widespread flooding, and with disease spreading through the British army, it was decided to abandon the expedition in early September.

    After a 13 hour chase across the Atlantic on 12 September 1810, Aigle captured a French privateer from Bordeaux: Phoenix, armed with eighteen 18-pounder carronades and carrying a well trained crew of 129, had been successfully preying on British and American shipping.

    Mediterranean service.

    Sir John Louis was appointed captain in October 1811 and took Aigle to the Mediterranean. Aigle and Curacoa used boats to land marines and seamen near the harbour of Campo del Porto, Elba, on 20 June 1813. When the batteries protecting the town were over-run and the troops there routed, the French scuttled three of their own ships to prevent them from becoming prizes. The following morning, having returned to the boats, the marines captured a small convoy of three settees and drove the brig protecting them into Portoferraio. Two large feluccas were taken from the town of Mesca in the Gulf of Spezia, on the 28 June. Prevented by the wind from using the ships, the British once more took to boats but only succeeded in driving their quarry inshore. Later that evening the wind changed direction and Aigle and Curacoa were able to bombard the town while marines took the feluccas from the beach.

    Four merchant vessels surrendered to Pembroke, Alcmene and Aigle on 11 April 1814, then when a Sicilian army under Lord William Bentinck invaded and occupied Genoa eight days later, Aigle provided naval support as part of a fleet under Vice-Admiral Edward Pellew.

    Re-rated as a 42-gun frigate in February 1817, Aigle underwent repairs and alterations at Woolwich from March 1817. In accordance with Surveyor of the Navy, Robert Seppings' designs, in January 1820, Aigle had her square transom removed and a circular stern fitted. This gave her improved protection in the rear and allowed a better field of fire. She was subsequently laid up then repaired and cut down to a 24-gun corvette between March and July 1831. Recommissioned in August 1841 under Lord Clarence Paget, she was sent to the Mediterranean.

    Fate.

    Aigle returned to Woolwich in October 1852 where she was converted to a coal hulk and receiving ship. She moved to Sheerness in September 1869 and in the following August, she became a target for torpedoes before being sold and broken up in November 1870.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  10. #10
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    HMS Emerald.


    She was a 36-gun Amazon-class frigate that Sir William Rule designed in 1794 for the Royal Navy. The Admiralty ordered her construction towards the end of May 1794 and work began the following month at Northfleet dockyard. She was completed on 12 October 1795 and joined Admiral John Jervis's fleet in the Mediterranean.

    In 1797, Emerald was one of several vessels sent to hunt down and capture the crippled Santisima Trinidad, which had escaped from the British at the Battle of Cape St Vincent. Emerald was supposed to have been present at the Battle of the Nile but in May 1798 a storm separated her from Horatio Nelson's squadron and she arrived in Aboukir Bay nine days too late. She was part of Rear-Admiral John Thomas Duckworth's squadron during the Action of 7 April 1800 off Cadiz.

    Emerald served in the Caribbean throughout 1803 in Samuel Hood's fleet, then took part in the invasion of St Lucia in July, and of Surinam the following spring. Returning to home waters for repairs in 1806, she served in the western approaches before joining a fleet under Admiral James Gambier in 1809, and taking part in the Battle of the Basque Roads. In November 1811 she sailed to Portsmouth where she was laid up in ordinary. Fitted out as a receiving ship in 1822, she was eventually broken up in January 1836.

    Construction.
    Name: HMS Emerald
    Ordered: 24 May 1794
    Builder: Thomas Pitcher
    Cost: £14,419
    Laid down: June 1794
    Launched: 31 July 1795
    Commissioned: August 1795
    Fate: Broken up, January 1836
    General characteristics
    Class and type: Amazon-class fifth-rate frigate
    Tons burthen: 933 ​
    Length:
    • 143 ft 2 12 in (43.6 m) (gundeck)
    • 119 ft 5 12 in (36.4 m) (keel)
    Beam: 38 ft 4 in (11.7 m)
    Depth of hold: 13 ft 6 in (4.1 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Complement: 264
    Armament:
    • Gundeck: 26 × 18-pounder guns
    • QD: 8 × 9-pounder guns + 6 × 32-pounder carronades
    • Fc: 2 × 9-pounder guns + 2 × 32-pounder carronades


    Emerald was a 36-gun, 18-pound, Amazon-class frigate built to William Rule's design. She and her sister ship, Amazon, were ordered on 24 May 1794 and were built to the same dimensions: 143 feet 2 12 inches (43.6 m) along the gun deck, 119 feet 5 12 inches (36.4 m) at the keel, with a beam of 38 feet 4 inches (11.7 m) and a depth in the hold of 13 feet 6 inches (4.1 m). They measured 933 ​tons burthen.
    Emerald was completed at Thomas Pitcher's dockyard in Northfleet at a cost of £14,419 and launched on 31 July 1795, twenty-seven days after Amazon. Her coppering at Woolwich was finished on 12 October 1795 and she was fitted-out at a further cost of £9,390. The Admiralty ordered a second pair of Amazon-class ships on 24 January 1795. They were marginally smaller at 925​8794 tons (bm) and were built from pitch pine.

    Service.

    Mediterranean.

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    Santisima Trinidad being rescued at the Battle of Cape St Vincent. Emerald was one of the British frigates sent out to track her down afterwards.

    Emerald was first commissioned in August 1795, under Captain Velters Cornewall Berkeley and in January 1797, she sailed for the Mediterranean. Spain had become allied to France and declared war on Britain in October 1796. Early in 1797, a Spanish fleet of 27 ships of the line was at Cartagena with orders to join the French fleet at Brest. A storm blew the Spanish fleet off course, enabling Admiral John Jervis' fleet of 15 ships of the line to intercept it off Cape St Vincent on 14 February. Although attached to Jervis' fleet at the time, as a frigate Emerald was too lightly built to take part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent; instead she anchored in nearby Lagos Bay with other vessels.

    On 16 February, the victorious British fleet and its prizes entered the bay. Jervis ordered the three frigates—Emerald, Minerve, and Niger, of 40 and 32 guns respectively—to search for the disabled flagship, Santisima Trinidad, which had been towed from the battle. Two smaller craft—Bonne-Citoyenne, a corvette of 20 guns, and the 14-gun sloop Raven—joined the frigates. The British squadron on 20 February sighted Santisima Trinidad under tow by a large frigate and in the company of a brig. Berkeley, considering the small squadron under his command insufficient, declined to engage and eventually the Spanish ships sailed from sight. The 32-gun HMS Terpsichore, while cruising alone, later located Santisima Trinidad and engaged her but the out-gunned British frigate was forced to abandon her attack.

    Action of 26 April 1797.

    Following the Battle of Cape St Vincent, the British pursued the remainder of the Spanish fleet to Cadiz, where Jervis began a long-running blockade of the port.

    On 26 April, while cruising in the company of the 74-gun Irresistible, Emerald helped to capture a 34-gun Spanish ship and to destroy another. The Spanish vessels were close to the coast when Jervis's fleet sighted them. Sent to investigate, Emerald and Irresistible, under Captain George Martin, discovered the ships were the frigates Santa Elena and Ninfa]—the Spanish ships had been carrying silver from Havana to Cadiz, but had transferred their cargo the previous night to a fishing boat that had warned them of the proximity of the British fleet.

    The Spanish ships sought shelter from the British north of Trafalgar in Conil Bay, the entrance to which was protected by a large rocky ledge. Irresistible and Emerald negotiated this obstacle at around 14:30 and engaged the Spanish ships, which were anchored in the Bay. The Spanish ships surrendered at approximately 16:00. Eighteen Spaniards were killed and 30 wounded during the fighting; one Briton was killed and one wounded. The remaining crew of Santa Elena avoided capture by cutting her cables and drifting her on shore so they could flee on foot. The British managed to drag Santa Elena off the beach but, badly damaged, she sank at sea.

    The British took Ninfa into service as HMS Hamadryad, a 36-gun frigate with a main battery of 12-pounders, but were unable to retrieve the cargo of silver, which later arrived safely in Cadiz.

    Second bombardment of Cadiz.

    Captain Thomas Waller took command of Emerald in mid-1797, and was stationed with Admiral Jervis' fleet off Cadiz. On 3 July, Jervis attempted to end the protracted blockade by ordering a bombardment of the town. A first attempt resulted in the capture of two Spanish mortar boats but achieved little else. During a second bombardment on the night of 5 July, Emerald, in the company of Terpsichore and the 74-gun Theseus, provided a protective escort for three bomb vessels, Thunder, Terror, and Strombolo. This attack caused considerable damage; the next morning, the Spanish hurriedly moved ten of their line-of-battle ships out of range. The British cancelled a third bombardment, planned for 8 July, when the weather became unfavourable.

    Attack on Santa Cruz.

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    The British attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife, painted in 1848 by Francisco de Aguilar
    Main article: Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1797)


    Later in July 1797, Emerald took part in an unsuccessful attack on Santa Cruz. A planned attack in April, proposed by Admiral Nelson, had been aborted as the troops required to execute it were unavailable. When Jervis was subsequently advised that the Spanish treasure fleet was anchored there, he revived Nelson's idea.

    For the new attack, Nelson was to take three ships of the line, three frigates, including Emerald, and 200 marines, for an amphibious landing outside the Spanish stronghold. The frigates would then engage the batteries to the north-east of Santa Cruz while the marines stormed the town. However, a combination of strong currents and heavy Spanish fire forced the British to abandon the attack. Several further attempts were made between 22 and 25 July; although the British were able to land troops, Spanish resistance was too strong and the British had to ask for an honourable withdrawal.

    After the attack, Nelson sent Emerald with his report to Jervis, who in turn sent her on to England with dispatches. Waller arrived at the Admiralty on 1 September, with the news of the failed attacks.

    Alexandria.

    While serving with Jervis on the Lisbon station in December 1797, Emerald, under the temporary command of Lord William Proby, captured the 8-gun privateer, Chasseur Basque. Waller returned as captain in April 1798.[1] In May, Jervis dispatched a squadron of five ships, including Emerald and commanded by Nelson in the 74-gun Vanguard, to locate a large invasion fleet that had left Toulon. After receiving intelligence on 22 May, Nelson correctly predicted the French fleet's destination and set course for Alexandria where the British captured or destroyed all but two of the French ships at the Battle of the Nile, which occurred between 1–3 August 1798. Emerald missed the battle; having previously become separated from the rest of the squadron in a storm on 21 May, she arrived at Aboukir Bay on 12 August.

    When Nelson left for Naples on 19 August 1798, he left behind a squadron—comprising three 74s Zealous, Goliath, Swiftsure, three frigates Emerald, Seahorse, and Alcmene, and the corvette Bonne Citoyenne—under Samuel Hood to patrol the waters around the port and along the coast. On 2 September, it encountered and destroyed the French aviso Anémone.

    Emerald and Seahorse chased Anemone inshore, where she anchored in shallow water out of their reach. When they launched their boats to cut-out Anėmone, her crew cut the anchor cable and their ship drifted on to the shore; as the Frenchmen were attempting to escape along the coast, hostile Arabs captured them and stripped them of their clothes, shooting those who resisted. A heavy surf prevented the British boats from landing, so a midshipman from Emerald, the young Francis Fane, swam ashore with a line and empty cask to rescue the commander and seven others who had escaped naked to the beach. Anėmone had a crew of 60 men under the command of Enseigne de Vaisseau (Ensign) Garibou, and was also carrying General Camin and Citoyen Valette, Aide-de-Camp to General Napoleon Bonaparte, with dispatches from Toulon. Camin and Valette were among those the Arabs killed. Emerald remained stationed off Alexandria for the rest of the year.

    Action on 18 June 1799.

    Emerald and Minerve, while cruising together on 2 June, took Caroline, a 16-gun French privateer, off the south-east coast of Sardinia. Later, Emerald assisted in the capture of Junon, Alceste, Courageuse, Salamine, and Alerte in the Action of 18 June 1799. The British fleet under George Elphinstone was some 69 miles off Cape Sicié when three French frigates and two brigs were spotted. Elphinstone engaged them with three seventy-fours, Centaur, Bellona and Captain, and two frigates, Emerald and Santa Teresa. The next evening, after a 28-hour chase, the French ships were forced into an action. The French squadron had scattered, enabling the British to attack it piecemeal. Bellona fired the first shots at 19:00 as she, Captain, and the two frigates closed with Junon and Alceste, both of which struck their colours immediately. Bellona then joined Centaur in chasing Courageuse. Faced with overwhelming odds, Courageuse also surrendered. Emerald then overhauled Salamine, and Captain took Alerte at around 23:30.

    Action on 7 April 1800.


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    Rear-Admiral John Duckworth, commander of the squadron blockading Cadiz, of which Emerald was a part when she fought in the Action of 7 April 1800

    Emerald returned to blockade duty at Cadiz in April 1800, joining a squadron under Rear-Admiral John Thomas Duckworth that included the 74-gun ships Leviathan and Swiftsure, and the fireship Incendiary. The squadron sighted a Spanish convoy on 5 April, which comprised 13 merchant vessels and three accompanying frigates, and at once gave chase. At 03:00 the following day, Emerald managed to overhaul and cross the bow of a 10-gun merchantman, which, having nowhere to go, immediately surrendered. By daybreak, the remainder of the Spanish convoy had scattered and the only ship visible was a 14-gun brig, Los Anglese. The absence of wind prevented the becalmed British vessels approaching her. Instead, Leviathan and Emerald lowered boats that rowed towards the brig, which they captured after a short exchange of fire.

    Other sails were now spotted in the east, west and south, forcing the British to divide their force: Swiftsure went south, Emerald east, and Leviathan west. At midday, Emerald signalled that there were six vessels to the north-east, and Leviathan wore round to pursue. By dusk, the two British ships had nine Spanish craft in sight. Three ships were seen at midnight to the north-north-west, and by 02:00 the following morning, two had been identified as the enemy frigates Carmen and Florentina. Duckworth ordered Emerald to take a parallel course to the enemy frigates in anticipation of a dawn attack, and at first light, the British closed with their opponents.

    The Spaniards had assumed the approaching vessels were part of their convoy, but by daybreak they had realised their error and vainly set more sail to escape. Being close enough to hail the Spanish crews, Duckworth ordered that they surrender. When the Spaniards ignored the demand, he ordered Leviathan and Emerald to open fire on the rigging of the Spanish vessels in order to disable them. Both Spanish frigates quickly surrendered. Carmen had had 11 men killed and 16 wounded; Florentina 12 killed and 10 wounded, including her first and second captains. The two Spanish frigates were each carrying 1500 quintals of mercury.
    A third frigate was visible on the horizon. Emerald immediately set off in pursuit but Duckworth recalled her and instead ordered her to locate the merchant ships; she secured four of the largest vessels by nightfall. The need to make the two captured frigates ready to sail delayed Leviathan, and by the time this was completed the third frigate had made her escape. Leviathan then returned to rendezvous with Emerald, managing to take a further enemy brig before night fell. The following day, both British vessels sailed for Gibraltar with their prizes. On arrival, they encountered Incendiary, which had made port the previous day with two captured vessels of its own. The small British squadron managed to secure nine merchant vessels and two frigates in total.

    Caribbean.

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    1798 map showing the Dutch colonies of Essequibo and Demarara

    Britain declared war on France in May 1803 following the short-lived Peace of Amiens and by June, Emerald, under the command of Captain James O'Bryen, had joined Samuel Hood's squadron in the Leeward Islands. Prior to the British invasion of St Lucia on 21 June, she harassed enemy shipping, disrupting the island's resupply.

    The invasion force left Barbados on 20 June. It comprised Hood's 74-gun flagship Centaur, the 74-gun Courageux, the frigates Argo and Chichester, and the sloops Hornet and Cyane. The following morning, Emerald and the 18-gun sloop Osprey had joined them. By 11:00, the squadron was anchored in Choc Bay. The troops were landed by 17:00 and half an hour later the town of Castries was in British hands. In the island's main fortress, Morne-Fortunée, the French troops refused to surrender; the British stormed it at 04:00 on 22 June, and by 04:30 St Lucia was in British hands. Following this easy victory, the British sent a force to Tobago, which capitulated on 1 July.

    Emerald was between St Lucia and Martinique on 24 June, when she captured the 16-gun French privateer Enfant Prodigue after a 72-hour chase. The French vessel was under the command of lieutenant de vaisseau Victor Lefbru and was carrying dispatches for Martinique. The Royal Navy took Enfant Prodigue into service as HMS St Lucia.

    While in the company of the 22-gun brig HMS Heureux, Emerald intercepted and captured a Dutch merchant vessel travelling between Surinam and Amsterdam on 10 August. On 5 September, she captured two French schooners, and later that month took part in attacks on Berbice, Essequibo and Demarara.

    Fort Diamond.

    Emerald's first lieutenant, Thomas Forest, commanded the 6-gun cutter Fort Diamond on 13 March 1804 when, with 30 of Emerald's crew aboard, she captured a French privateer off Saint-Pierre, Martinique. Contrary winds prevented the privateer, Mosambique, from entering St Pierre and she had sought shelter beneath the batteries at Seron. Because Emerald was too far downwind, Captain O'Bryen used boats and crew from Emerald to create a diversion and draw fire from the battery while Fort Diamond approached from the opposite direction, rounded Pearl Rock (some two miles off the coast), and bore down on Mosambique. Forest put the cutter alongside with such force that a chain securing the privateer to the shore snapped. The 60-man French crew abandoned their vessel and swam ashore.[ The Royal Navy took Mosambique into service.

    Capture of Surinam.

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    1773 map of the Dutch colony of Surinam showing the respective positions of the Surinam and Commewine rivers, Warapee Creek, Braam's point, and the forts Leyden and New Amsterdam

    In the spring of 1804, Emerald and her crew took part in an invasion of Surinam. The invasion force consisted of Hood's flagship Centaur, Emerald, the 44-gun heavy frigates Pandour and Serapis, the 28-gun sixth-rate Alligator, the 12-gun schooner Unique, the 12-gun corvette Hippomenes, and the 8-gun Drake, together with 2,000 troops under Brigadier-General Sir Charles Green. The force arrived from Barbados on 25 April after a twenty-two-day journey. The sloop Hippomenes, a transport and a further three armed vessels, landed Brigadier-General Frederick Maitland and 700 troops at Warapee Creek on the night of 30 April. The following night, O'Bryen was ordered to assist Brigadier-general Hughes in the taking of Braam's Point. A sandbar initially prevented Emerald from entering the Surinam River but O'Bryen forced her across on the rising tide, with Pandour and Drake following. Anchoring close by, the three British ships quickly put the Dutch battery of 18-pounders out of action and captured the fort without loss of life.

    Emerald, Pandour, and Drake then pushed up the river, sometimes in less water than the frigates required to float properly, until on 5 May they arrived close to the forts Leyden and Frederici. The British landed a detachment of troops under Hughes some distance away, which marching under the cover of the forests and swamps, launched an attack that resulted in the swift capture of the two forts. By this time, most of the squadron had managed to work its way up the river as far as Frederici, Maitland was advancing along the Commewine River, and with troops poised to attack the fort of New Amsterdam, the Batavian commandant, Lieutenant-Colonel Batenburg, duly surrendered.

    Emerald captured the vessel Augusta, which was under American colours, on 22 August and sent her into Antigua with the cargo of wine that she had been carrying from Leghorn to Guadeloupe. Emerald left Tortola on 26 October as escort to a convoy of 50 vessels for England but having parted from them in a storm, she put into Madeira in distress on 11 December.

    Service on the Home Station.

    Between February and June 1806, Emerald underwent repairs at Deptford dockyard and was recommissioned under Captain John Armour; Frederick Lewis Maitland assumed command in the first quarter of 1807. While in the Basque Roads in April, Emerald captured the 14-gun privateer Austerlitz, a brig from Nantes under the command of Captain Gatien Lafont. Emerald, while escorting a Spanish polacca that she had taken, spotted and captured the privateer on 14 April after a ten-hour chase. Austerlitz had been out of port two days but had made no captures; the polacca was the Spanish ship Prince of Asturias, which had sailed from La Guayra with a cargo of cocoa, bark and indigo. Emerald sent both prizes into Plymouth, where they arrived on 22 April. Emerald herself set off in pursuit of another vessel from La Guayra.

    Emerald recaptured Zulema which had been plundered and taken by a French privateer as she sailed from Philadelphia to Liverpool. She arrived in Plymouth under her master, Mr Howard, on 4 May. During December, Plymouth received more of Emerald's captures. At the beginning of the month, Young Elias was detained. Her master Monsieur Delance, had been sailing from Philadelphia to Bordeaux. On 26 December, Mr Seaton's vessel, Friendship was caught returning from France.

    Apropos.

    Emerald's boats participated in a cutting-out expedition in Viveiro harbour on 13 March 1808. While cruising inshore at around 17:00, Emerald spotted a large French schooner, Apropos,[ of 250 tons (bm), anchored in the bay. Apropos was armed with twelve 8-pounder guns, though pierced for 16, and had a crew of more than 70 men under the command of lieutenant de vaisseau Lagary.

    The crews of the schooner and of the two batteries guarding the harbour had seen Emerald but Maitland still made plans to attack Apropos. He soon discovered it was not possible to place Emerald so as to engage both enemy batteries simultaneously, and instead sent landing parties to silence the guns, which had been firing on his ship since 17:30. The first landing party, led by Lieutenant Bertram and accompanied by two marine lieutenants and two master mates, stormed the outer fort. Maitland then positioned Emerald close to the second battery while a boat under the command of his third lieutenant, Smith, landed about a mile along the shore. This second landing party encountered Spanish soldiers, but drove them off and pursued them inland. By the time Smith's party returned to the beach, Emerald had already silenced the battery. In the darkness, Smith subsequently failed to locate the fort.

    The crew of Apropos had run her ashore soon after Emerald had entered the harbour. The harbour batteries having been destroyed, Captain Maitland sent a further force under Midshipman Baird to secure and refloat the French ship. The original landing party under Lieutenant Bertram, which had already encountered and dispersed 60 members of the schooner's crew, met Baird's party on the beach. The British made several unsuccessful attempts to re-float the schooner before being forced to set her afire and depart.] British casualties were heavy. Emerald had nine men killed, and 16 wounded, including Lieutenant Bertram. Maitland estimated that French casualties too had been heavy.

    In 1847 the Admiralty issued the clasp "Emerald 13 March 1808" to the Naval General Service Medal to the ten surviving claimants from the action.

    Back in the Basque Roads.

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    British chart of the Basque Roads, 1757

    A French schooner Amadea arrived in Plymouth on 15 December 1808 having previously been captured and sent in by Emerald.
    Back in the Basque Roads on 23 February 1809, Emerald was this time part of a squadron under Robert Stopford. Stopford's flagship, the 80-gun Caesar, was also accompanied by the seventy-fours Defiance and Donegal, and the 36-gun frigates Amethyst and Naiad. At 20:00, Stopford's squadron was anchored off the Chassiron Lighthouse, to the north-west of Ile d'Oléron, when the sighting of several rockets prompted him to investigate. About an hour later, sails were seen to the east which the British followed until daylight the following morning. The sails belonged to a French squadron that Stopford deduced to be out of Brest and which heaved to in the Pertuis d'Antioche.
    The French force comprised eight ships of the line and two frigates, and Stopford immediately sent Naiad to apprise Admiral James Gambier of the situation. Naiad had not gone too far however when she signalled that there were three other vessels to the north-west. Stopford ordered Amethyst and Emerald to remain while he and the rest of the squadron set off in pursuit. The British frigate Amelia and the sloop Doterel also joined the chase. Caesar, Donegal, Defiance, and Amelia eventually drove the three French frigates ashore and destroyed them.

    Emerald and Amethyst had more success in the spring of 1809 when on 23 March they captured the brigs Caroline and Serpent. In April, Emerald assisted Amethyst in the chase of a large 44-gun frigate off Ushant. Emerald sighted Niemen, with a main battery of 18-pounders and under the command of Captain Dupoter, at 11:00 on 5 April and immediately signalled Amethyst for assistance. Amethyst caught a glimpse of the French forty-four just as she turned away to the south-east and gave chase but by 19:20 had lost sight of both Niemen and Emerald. Amethyst fell in with Niemen again at around 21:30 and engaged her. Niemen was forced to strike when a second British frigate, Arethusa came into view and fired a broadside.] The Royal Navy took Niemen into service under her existing name.]
    On 26 March, Enfant de Patria arrived at Plymouth. Patria, of 500 tons (bm), 10 guns, and 60 men, had sailed from France for Île de France when Emerald and Amethyst captured her. Two days later Emerald captured a second letter of marque, the 4-gun Aventurier, bound for the relief of Guadeloupe. She had a crew of 30 men.

    Battle of the Basque Roads.

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    Map illustrating the position of the anchored French fleet shortly before the British attack on the night of 11 April

    Emerald was part of the fleet under Admiral Lord Gambier that fought the Battle of the Basque Roads in April 1809. The French ships were anchored under the protection of the powerful batteries on the Isle d'Aix when on 11 April Lord Cochrane attacked them with fireships and explosive vessels. Emerald provided a diversion to the east of the island with the brigs Beagle, Doterel, Conflict, and Growler. The fireships met with only partial success; the French, having anticipated such an attack, had rigged a boom across the channel. One of the explosive vessels breached the boom, leading the French to cut their cables and drift on to the shoals.

    The following day, after much delay, Gambier ordered a battle squadron to reinforce Cochrane in the Basque Roads. The British ships anchored, with springs, in a crescent around some of the stranded French ships, and exchanged fire. Emerald took up position ahead of Indefatigable and behind Aigle and Unicorn, and directed her fire mainly towards the French ships of the line, Varsovie and Aquilon, both of which struck at around 17:30.

    At 20:00, Emerald, along with the other British frigates and brigs, weighed and anchored with the 74-gun HMS Revenge in the Maumusson passage to the south of Oléron while a second fireship attack was under preparation. Although the fireships were ready in the early hours on the 13th, contrary winds prevented their deployment. The British instead set Varsovie and Aquilon alight just after 03:00, on the orders of Captain John Bligh, after removing their crews. Emerald, and the other vessels moored with her, were recalled at 05:00 but owing to the lack of water, only the brigs were able to pass further up the river. Emerald therefore took no further part in the attack, which continued until 29 April when the last French ship was able to free herself from the mud and escape up the river to Rochefort.

    Later service.

    Emerald took two French sloops in July 1809. Deux Freres, en route for Guadeloupe from Rochelle when captured, arrived in Plymouth on 26 July. A week later, Emerald captured the French schooner Balance, which had been sailing to France from Guadeloupe. Both captures carried letters of marque, a government licence authorising the attack and capture of enemy vessels. The first, of four guns, was carrying a small reinforcement for Guadeloupe's garrison. The second, also of four guns, was carrying a cargo of coffee and other colonial produce.

    While off the coast of Ireland on 8 October, Emerald rescued a British brig by capturing Incomparable, an 8-gun French privateer. The Frenchman was about to take the British vessel when Emerald intervened. Incomparable had a crew of 63 men and was four days out of Saint-Malo, but had not yet captured any other vessel. Still in Irish waters on 6 November, Emerald took the 16-gun French brig Fanfaron, two days out of Brest and bound for Guadeloupe. After an all-night chase, Emerald caught up. Capitaine de fregate Croquet Deschateurs of Fanfaron resisted, firing several broadsides and a final double-shotted broadside. Unable to escape, Deschateurs prepared to board but Emerald evaded the manoeuvre and fired a broadside that dismasted Fanfaron, leaving Deschateurs no option but to surrender his vessel. The subsequent French court-martial not only absolved Deschateurs of any liability for the loss but also commended him for his conduct. Four days later Emerald arrived at Cork with Fanfaron and Luna. Fanfaron, with a crew of 113, had been carrying a cargo of flour, salt, and other provisions, as well as iron, lead, and nails, all for Guadeloupe.

    At the beginning of February 1810, Emerald captured and sent into Plymouth, Commerce, Hanson, master, which had been sailing from Drontheim to Bordeaux. Then on 22 March, Emerald captured the 350-ton (bm) Belle Etoile in the Bay of Biscay. Caught after a twelve-hour chase during which she jettisoned much of her cargo; Belle Etoile, out of Bayonne, was pierced for 20 guns but only carried eight. Carrying a cargo of wine, flour, oil, and other merchandise to Île de France, she was sent into Cork with her 56-man crew. Emerald captured an American ship, Wasp, in July 1810. Wasp was carrying 91 passengers from New York to Bordeaux; they arrived at Plymouth on 30 July.

    Emerald was still serving on the Home Station on 11 April 1811 when she sent into Cork a French privateer. This was the 18-gun Auguste (or Augusta), which had been taken on 6 April. Nearly a month later, on 5 July, Emerald left Madeira in the company of five East Indiamen and was still on convoy duties later that month when a transport ship spotted her escorting thirteen vessels off the coast of West Africa on 18 July.

    Fate.

    In November 1811, Emerald sailed to Portsmouth and was laid up in ordinary. Fitted out as a receiving ship in 1822, she was eventually broken up in January 1836.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  11. #11
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    HMS MEDIATOR.



    Ann and Amelia (1781 ship)


    History
    United Kingdom
    Name: Ann and Amelia
    Owner: John Julius Angerstin, or Angerstein
    Builder: Fishburn & Brodrick, Whitby
    Launched: 1781
    Fate: Sold June 1804
    UK
    Name: HMS Mediator
    Acquired: June 1804 by purchase
    Honours and
    awards:
    Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Basque Roads 1809"
    Fate: Expended as a fireship in the Basque Roads, April 1809
    General characteristics [1][5]
    Tons burthen: 600, or 620, or 689
    Length: ·126 ft 11 in (38.7 m) (overall)
    ·102 ft 8 in (31.3 m) (keel)
    ·134 ft 8 in (41.0 m) (overall)
    ·109 ft 4 in (33.3 m) (keel; est)
    Beam: ·33 ft 2 in (10.1 m)
    ·34 ft 5 in (10.5 m)
    Depth of hold: 13 ft 1 in (4.0 m)
    Sail plan: Ship
    Complement: 254 (Frigate)
    Armament: ·Ann and Amelia: 20 × 9-pounder + 6 × 4-pounder guns
    ·Frigate:
    o Lower deck: 26 × 18-pounder guns
    o Upper deck: 18 × 24-pounder carronades
    ·Storeship:
    o Upper deck: 20 × 18-pounder guns
    o QD: 2 × 9-pounder guns


    Ann and Amelia
    was a three-decker merchant ship launched in 1781. The British East India Company (EIC) twice employed her as an "extra ship", first when she went out to India to sail in trade in that market, and again in 1803 when she sailed back from India to Britain. On her return to Britain the Admiralty purchased her in June 1804 and converted her to a 44-gun fifth rate with the name HMS Mediator. The Navy converted her to a storeship in 1808, but then expended her as a fireship at the battle of the Basque Roads in April 1809.


    Ann and Amelia.

    After her launch at Whitby in 1781, Ann and Amelia, under the command of Captain John Popham, was at The Downs on 30 January 1782. She left British waters on 6 February 1781 for India. She was to remain there in the local and Far East trade.

    She served as a transport or troopship to support Major-General Sir David Baird's expedition in 1800 to the Red Sea. Baird was in command of the Indian army that was going to Egypt to help General Ralph Abercromby expel the French there. Baird landed at Kosseir, on the Egyptian side of the Red Sea. He then led his troops army across the desert to Kena on the Nile, and then to Cairo. He arrived before Alexandria in time for the final operations.

    In 1803 the EIC employed Ann and Amelia again, this time to take a cargo from Bengal to Britain. She left Saugor on 29 January 1803. She reached Coringa on 27 February, and Madras on 11 March. She then reached St Helena on 10 July, and Yarmouth on 29 September, before arriving at The Downs on 3 October.

    HMS Mediator.

    In June–July 1804 Mediator underwent fitting by Brent, of Rotherhithe. Then she underwent further fitting between July and October, but at Deptford Dockyard.
    Her measurements, and hence burthen, increased.

    Captain Thomas Livingstone commissioned Mediator in August 1804 for the North Sea. Captain John Seater replaced Livingstone in January 1805, and on 25 February sailed towards the East Indies.

    Equally, on 17 February, Mediator escorted a convoy of Indiamen out of Portsmouth. She escorted them as far as St Helena and then returned to Britain in September.

    On 3 March 1806, Mediator and Squirrel left Cork, escorting a convoy for the West Indies. The convoy was reported "all well" on 25 March at 27°30′N 20°30′W.

    In May 1806 Mediator was on the Jamaica Station. Seater died about that time, and Captain William Wise replaced him. On 14 November, Wise and Mediator captured the West Indian.
    On 14 February 1807 Captain Wise and Mediator fell in with Bacchante, Commander James Dacres, in the Mona Passage. Dacres also had the French schooner Dauphin, which he had just captured. Mediator and Bacchante were patrolling, looking for French warships and privateers, so Dacres took Mediator under his command and hatched a plan to raid the port of Samana, "that nest of privateers". Dacres had Dauphin come into the harbour there under her French flag, with Bacchante disguised as her prize, and Mediator, a former merchantman, appearing to be a neutral ship. This stratagem permitted the British vessels to come into the harbour and anchor within a half a mile of the fort before the enemy realized that vessels were British warships. After a four-hour exchange of fire with a fort there, manned primarily by men from the privateers in the harbour, the fort fell to a land attack by the seamen and marines from Bacchante and Mediator, the landing party being under Wise's command. The British captured two French schooners undergoing fitting as privateers, and an American ship and a British schooner, both prizes to French privateers. Before they left on 21 February, the British destroyed the fort and its guns. In the attack, Dacres had four men wounded. Wise had two men killed and 12 wounded as Mediator had been more heavily engaged than Bacchante in the exchange of fire with the fort. Dacres estimated that French casualties had been high, but did not have a number as the Frenchmen took to the woods as the fort fell.

    The Lloyd's Patriotic Fund, subsequently awarded both Dacres and Wise a sword each worth £100 that bore the inscriptions:


    • "From the Patriotic Fund at Lloyd's to James Richard Dacres Esqr. Capt. of H.M.S. Bacchante for his Gallant Conduct in the Capture of the French National Schooner Dauphin and the Destruction of the Fort and Cannon in the Harbour of Samana on 16th February 1807 effected by the Bacchante in company with H.M.S. Mediator as Recorded in the London Gazette of the 25th of April".
    • [
    • "From the Patriotic Fund at Lloyd's to William Furlong Wise Esq. Capt. of H.M.S. Mediator for his Gallant Conduct in Storming and Destroying with the Seamen and Marines belonging to His Majesty's Ships Bacchante and Mediator the Fort and Cannon in the Harbour of Samana on 16th of February 1807 as Recorded in the London Gazette of the 25th of April".

    In May Mediator and Wise captured the Grouper on 3 May and the Dispatch on 6 May.

    In 1807 Captain George Reynolds replaced Wise, who had become ill and who remained in the West Indies for a little while to recuperate before returning home. By the end of the year Mediator had returned to Britain. In 1808 she was fitted as a storeship and command passed to Captain George Blamey. Her role became one of conveying supplies to the various squadrons blockading French ports. On 15 March 1808 Mediator recaptured the Swedish ship Maria Christiana. In May 1808 Captain John Pasco managed to obtain the command of Mediator for three months.

    In January 1809 Mediator was at Corunna. The battle of Corunna, which took place on 16 January 1809, had British troops holding off the French to cover the embarkation of the British Army after its retreat. In this battle Sir John Moore was killed. Mediator and a number of other warships and transports arrived on 14 and 15 January from Vigo.

    Mediator took on board a great number of sick and wounded soldiers, and then sailed to Lisbon. After the evacuation was complete a violent fever and ague inflicted Blamey so the Navy appointed Captain James Woolridge acting captain until Blamey recovered.

    Fate: A blaze of glory.

    On 11 April 1809 Woolridge, in Mediator commanded the flotilla of fire and explosion ships that the Admirals Gambier and Lord Cochrane sent in to Basque Roads to attack the fleet that was arrayed there. A flotilla of six fireships, together with one ship laden with combustibles, had gathered at Portsmouth but had been unable to sail. Gambier decided not to wait. He took eight of the largest transports at his command and converted them to fireships. The necessary combustibles came from three French chasse-marées, laden with tar and rosin, that the fleet had recently captured. At Lord Cochrane's suggestion, Mediator too was fitted as a fire-ship.
    The fireships attacked at 8:30 p.m., but several had to be abandoned when their fuzes started prematurely. Mediator, with the benefit of the wind and a tide running at four knots broke through the boom protecting the French fleet. Woolridge and his skeleton crew barely escaped before she burst into flames. As it was, a gunner was killed, and Woolridge, Lieutenant Nicholas Brent Clements, Lieutenant James Pearl, and seaman Michael Gibson all received burns when they were blown out of her after she started to burn.

    When Blamey, who was in sick quarters, heard that Mediator was going to lead the attack, hurried to join her. However he did not arrive until 12 April.

    The battle continued the next day with the French losing four ships-of-the-line and a frigate. Ville de Varsovie (80), and Aquilon (74), were both burnt. Tonnerre (74), Calcutta (54), and Indienne (46), were scuttled.

    King George presented Woolridge with a gold medal and chain, worth £100, that had been specially struck for the occasion. Lloyd's Patriotic Fund also presented Woolridge with a sword worth £100. Lastly, he was promoted to the rank of post captain.

    In 1847 the Admiralty authorized the award of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Basque Roads 1809" to all surviving claimants from the action.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  12. #12
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    HMS Doterel (or Dotterel),

    She was an 18-gun Cruizer-class brig-sloop of the British Royal Navy. Launched on 6 October 1808, she saw action in the Napoleonic Wars and in the War of 1812. In February 1809 she took part in the Battle of Les Sables-d'Olonne, then in April the Battle of Basque Roads. She was laid up in 1827 at Bermuda, but not broken up until 1855.

    United Kingdom
    Class and type: Cruizer class brig-sloop
    Name: HMS Doterel
    Namesake: Eurasian dotterel
    Ordered: 31 December 1807
    Builder: John Scott and Richard Blake, Bursledon
    Laid down: April 1808
    Launched: 6 October 1808
    Fate: Broken up 1855
    General characteristics

    Type: Cruizer-class brig-sloop
    Tons burthen: 386​
    Length:
    • 100 ft 2 in (30.5 m) (overall)
    • 77 ft 2 14 in (23.5 m) (keel)
    Beam: 30 ft 8 in (9.3 m)
    Depth of hold: 12 ft 10 in (3.9 m)
    Propulsion: Sail
    Complement: 121
    Armament:

    Career.

    Doterel was first commissioned under Commander Anthony Abdy in October 1808. By February 1809 she was in the Basque Roads and had become attached to a squadron under Robert Stopford when on 27th of that month she took part in the Battle of Les Sables-d'Olonne.

    Stopford in the 80-gun Caesar had been accompanied by the seventy-fours Defiance and Donegal, and the 36-gun frigates Emerald, Amethyst and Naiad, when he had chased a French force comprising eight ships of the line and two frigates, into the Pertuis d'Antioche.[3] Stopford immediately sent Naiad to appraise Admiral James Gambier of the situation but Naiad had not gone too far when she signalled that there were three other vessels to the north-west. Stoppard ordered Amethyst and Emerald to remain while he and the rest of the squadron set off in pursuit.

    When daylight came, the vessels sighted by Naiad were revealed to be the three French frigates, Calypso, Italienne and Sybille, being chased by Doterel and the 36-gun frigate Amelia. Doterel and Amelia had drawn so close to Sybille, the nearest French ship, that her two companions shortened sail in preparation for battle but on seeing Stopford's approaching squadron, all three French ships took off with Doterel and Amelia in close pursuit. At 10:00 the French frigates arrived at Sable d'Olonne where they anchored with springs, in the shallow water beneath the town's batteries. Caeser, Donegal, Defiance and Amelia stood in and engaged. Two of the French frigates were obliged to cut their cables and run ashore in order to escape before the British were forced to withdraw by the falling tide. However, all three French frigates were destroyed in the action.

    Doterel was part of Gambier's fleet when it fought the Battle of the Basque Roads in April 1809. The French ships were anchored under the protection of the powerful batteries on the Isle d'Aix when on 11 April Lord Cochrane led an attacking force of fireships and explosive vessels. At this time, Doterel was employed in a passive role, providing a diversion to the east of the island with the brigs Beagle, Conflict and Growler, and the 36-gun frigate Emerald.[8] The fireships were a partial success; the French, having suspected such an attack, had rigged a boom across the channel but this was breached by one of the explosive vessels. The French cut their cables and drifted on to the shoals. Later on 13 April, Doterel, Foxhound and Redpole, carrying letters from Gambier, arrived in the Maumossen Passage where Cochrane had retired from attacking the grounded French fleet due to the falling tide.

    In October 1810 Doterel was commissioned for service in the West Indies, and in December command passed to William Westcott Daniel. Daniel was still in command in early October 1812, when Doterel was back in home waters, part of a squadron under Alexander Cochrane. On 4 October, she and the British sloop Raven chased down a 10-gun French privateer, Leonore, off the Isles of Scilly. In 1814, she served on the North American Station in the war against the United States, capturing the 14-gun American privateer Dominica on 22 May. In January 1815, Doterel was part of an invasion force under George Cockburn, which looted St Simons and its neighbouring islands in Georgia, carrying away cotton and freeing slaves who were later resettled on Bermuda. In August 1815 she returned to England where she was laid up at Chatham.

    Doterel was recommissioned in February 1818 and served out of Cork under Lieutenant John Gore. On 16 November 1820, Doterel seized the American schooner Volunteer.
    William Hendry assumed command in July 1821 and sailed for Halifax on the North American Station. In July 1822, Richard Hoare took command. Hoare spent just over three years in charge before he was superseded by Henry Edwards in August 1825. Doterel's last commander was William Hamilton who arrived on board in August 1826.

    Fate.

    The Admiralty found Doterel to be in such a defective state, she was ordered to be laid up in Bermuda on 4 April 1827, where she was used as a residence for workmen there. On 28 August 1848, Doterel was ordered to be broken up but the order was not carried out until some seven years later.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  13. #13
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    HMS Foxhound.

    She was an 18-gun Cruizer-class brig-sloop built by King at Dover and launched in 1806. She participated in the battle of the Basque Roads in early 1809 and foundered later that year.

    Service.

    Great Britain.
    Name: HMS Foxhound
    Namesake: Foxhound
    Builder: King, Dover
    Launched: 1806
    Commissioned: May 1807
    Honors and
    awards:
    Naval General Service Medal with the clasp "Basque Roads 1809"
    Fate: Foundered 31 August 1809


    General characteristics


    Class and type: Cruizer-class brig-sloop
    Tons burthen: 384 ​
    Length: ·100 ft 0 in (30.5 m) (gundeck)
    ·77 ft 2 78 in (23.5 m) (keel)
    Beam: 30 ft 7 in (9.3 m)
    Draught: ·7 ft 0 in (2.1 m) (unladen)
    ·11 ft 0 in (3.4 m) (laden)
    Depth of hold: 12 ft 9 in (3.9 m)
    Sail plan: Brig
    Complement: 121
    Armament: ·16 × 32-pounder carronades
    ·2 × 6-pounder chase guns

    Commander Pitt Burnaby Greene, late commander of the hired armed brig Cockatrice, commissioned Foxhound in May 1807. On 26 August Foxhound captured the Danish vessel Adetheid Margaretha. Two days later she captured the Danish vessels Gimlé and De Gode.



    On 28 June 1808 Foxhound captured the French chasse maree Susanne. Then on 11 January 1809 Foxhound recaptured the Hamburg ship Vierininguen.
    On 17 March 1809, Foxhound joined Admiral Lord Gambier's Channel fleet anchored off the Basque Roads. The British plan was to use the 60 vessels (of all kinds) to attack the French fleet lying within. The 15 French vessels there, commanded by Vice-Admiral Zacharie Allemand, lay behind a boom protected by 30 guns.



    During this time Foxhound participated in the capture of two vessels, the Danish ship Neptunus on 24 March and the French ship Nymphe on 28 March. For the capture of Neptunus, Foxhound was in company with Indefatigable and the sloop Goldfinch. Foxhound was also in company with Indefatigable for the capture of Nymphe.

    On 11 April, two explosion ships, twelve fire ships, accompanied by bomb vessels and escorted by men-of-war, some 27 vessels in all, under the command of Captain Lord Cochrane, broke the boom under a heavy fire. Foxhound covered the bomb vessel Aetna near the Île-d'Aix, which was making a diversionary attack. The British main attack captured two French vessels and two were blown up, all with a total loss to the British of only eight men killed and 24 wounded. Still, Cochrane was highly critical of Gambier's failure to act more aggressively. (Gambier had earlier objected to the plan to use explosion (Cochrane's invention) and fire ships, calling it "a horrible and anti-Christian mode of warfare".)

    Two of Foxhound's sister ships, Doterel and Beagle were also present at the Basque Roads.

    In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the then-surviving participants in the battle the Naval General Service Medal with the clasp "Basque Roads 1809".



    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  14. #14
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    HMS Thunder.

    She was an 8-gun bomb vessel of the Royal Navy, previously the mercantile Dasher. Dasher, launched at Bideford in 1800, had made two voyages as a slave ship before the Royal Navy purchased her in 1803 and renamed her HMS Thunder. Thunder served in the Mediterranean and the Baltic; among other actions, she participated in a battle and one single-ship action, each of which resulted in her crew later qualifying for clasps to the Naval General Service Medal (1847). The Navy sold her in 1814.

    Great Britain
    Name: Dasher
    Owner:
    • 1800:Thomas Phillips
    • 1803:J. Sims
    Builder: Bideford
    Launched: 1800
    Captured: Sold 1803
    General characteristics
    Tons burthen: 309, or 318
    Complement: 40
    Armament: 20 × 6-pounder guns
    History
    Name: HMS Thunder
    Acquired: October 1803
    Honours and
    awards:
    Fate: Sold 1814
    General characteristics
    Tons burthen: 383
    Length:
    • Overall: 111 ft 3 in (33.9 m)
    • Keel: 92 ft 10 in (28.3 m)
    Beam: 27 ft 10 in (8.5 m)
    Depth of hold: 15 ft 7 in (4.7 m)
    Complement: 67
    Armament: 8 × 24-pounder carronades + 1 × 10" + 1 × 13" mortars


    Slave ship.
    Dasher was launched at Bideford. She first appeared in Lloyd's Register (LR) in 1800 with T.Phillips, master, Phillips & Co., owners, and trade Liverpool–Africa.

    Captain Thomas Phillips acquired a letter of marque on 24 October. He sailed from Liverpool on 14 November. Dasher purchased her slaves at the Congo River and arrived at Trinidad on 15 October 1801, where she landed some 300 slaves. She arrived back at Liverpool on 24 January 1802.

    LR for 1803 gave the name of Dasher's master as Hamilton, and her owner as Sime & Co. Her trade was now London–Africa.

    Captain Hance Hamilton sailed from London on 1 June 1802. Because he sailed during the Peace of Amiens he did not acquire a letter of marque. Dasher arrived at Havana on 1 December 1802 and there landed 322 slaves. She arrived back at London on 11 April 1803.

    Royal Navy.

    War with France had just resumed and the Royal Navy needed small warships to escort convoys and combat privateers. The Navy purchased Dasher in October 1803. She underwent fitting for a bomb vessel at Deptford Dockyard between 1 November 1803 and 10 February 1804. Commander George Cocks commissioned her for the Mediterranean in December 1803.
    On 13 April 1805 Thunder captured Africano.

    On 17 November Thunder detained the Prussian ship Minerva, of one gun, six men and 200 tons (bm). Minerva was sailing from Barcelona to Embden with a cargo of brandy. Ten days later, Thunder detained the Swedish ship St. Jean, of two guns, eight men, and 150 tons (bm). St Jean had been sailing from Vigo to Stralsund with cocoa and fish when Thunder captured her off Malaga.

    In 1806 Thunder was in the Mediterranean. On 21 January she captured Comercium. Between 7 and 21 February Thunder sent two Danish vessels into Gibraltar: the brig Commerce, Broadson, master, which had been sailing from Alicante to Amsterdam, and Victoriosa, Roche, master, which had been sailing from Alicante to Leghorn. Comercium and Commerce were probably the same vessel.

    Next, Thunder detained Fremde Soshende, Thompson, master, which had been sailing from Malaga to Embden, and sent her into Gibraltar. This may have been Suskinders, or Trende Soskinders, which Thunder had detained on 24 March. His Majesty granted Thunder two-thirds of the value of the prize. Thunder also received two-thirds for Frau Anna Margaretha, detained on 30 April, and for Foderns Bestlutning, detained on 5 May.]
    On 27 April 1806, Beagle and a number of other vessels were in company with Termagant when Termagant captured the Anna Maria Carolina.

    On 1 May Thunder detained Flora.

    LL reported on 6 June that Thunder had detained two Danish ships and sent them into Gibraltar. Fortune, Tasmar, master, had been coming from Galipoli and was bound for Copenhagen. Harmony, Fisher, master, had been coming from Leghorn and was bound for Stettin.

    Between 16 and 11 May Thunder detained five Danish vessels that she sent into Gibraltar:


    • Charlotta, Smit, master, from St Remo to Hambro
    • Constitution?, from Cette to Stettin
    • Catharina, Yenson, master, from Gallipoly to Hambro
    • Two Brothers, Krog, master, from Civita Vechia to Caen
    • Adjuzor?, from Cette to Stettin

    On 21 May Thunder detained Three Ladies, Jensen, master, which had been sailing from Gallipoly to stettin, and sent her into Gibraltar. HMS Dexterous and Niger were in company with Thunder at the capture of Trende Damen (Three Ladies). Thunder and Dextereous shared in the prize money for Trende Brodre, also captured on 21 May.

    Thunder also detained Catharina and Alexander on 20 and 23 May.

    On 9 June, Thunder captured John Joachim and on 11 June Anna Margaretha.

    Later in the year Thunder detained and sent into Gibraltar the Danish vessel Louisa, Martins, master. Louisa had been sailing from Lisbon to Barcelona.

    Commander Cocks again sailed for the Mediterranean on 4 January 1807. However, by August 1807 Thunder was in the expedition to attack Copenhagen. She was part of the advanced squadron which on 11 September engaged some Danish vessels that came out of the harbour at Copenhagen to attack the batteries the British army was establishing on shore. The squadron drove of the Danes; Thunder sustained no casualties. She was among the many vessels that shared in the prize money for the capture of vessels and stores at Copenhagen on 7 September; the share of an able seaman was worth £3 8s. She was also one of some 31 vessels of the fleet that participated in the proceeds from the capture during the campaign of the merchant vessels Hans and Joachim (17 August), Die Twee Gebroaders (21 August), Aurora, Paulina, and Ceres (30&31 August), Odiford (4 September), and Benedicta (12 September).


    Battle of Saltholm.

    In 1808 Commander James Caulfield replaced Cocks. On 9 June, during the Gunboat War, Thunder was one of four Royal Navy vessels escorting a convoy of 70 British merchant vessels from Malmö Roads. The other three British warships were HMS Turbulent of 12 guns, the 14-gun Piercer, and the 12-gun HMS Charger.

    As the convoy was off the island of Saltholm in Øresund Strait near Copenhagen, a Dano-Norwegian force of 21 gunboats and seven mortar boats attacked the convoy.

    Turbulent, which was bringing up the rear, was the first to engage and was forced to strike. Next, the Danes stationed themselves on Thunder's quarters and rear and opened fire. Thunder returned fire with her carronades and two 6-pounder guns on her stern. Eventually, the Danes withdrew with Turbulent and the 12 or 13 merchant vessels they had captured. The merchants at Lloyd's involved in the Baltic trade, as a token of appreciation for his efforts to save the convoy, gave Commander Caulfield ₤100 with which to purchase a piece of silver plate.

    During the Anglo-Russian War (1807–1812), a Swedish fleet with HMS Centaur and Implacable engaged a Russian fleet off Hango Udd. The British warships succeeded in destroying the 74-gun Russian ship Vsevolod and the rest of the Russian fleet took shelter behind a boom in Rager Vik (Ragerswik or Rogerswick). Vice-Admiral Saumerez and his entire squadron joined the Anglo-Swedish squadron on 27 August 1807. They then blockaded the Russians for some months. During the blockade Saumarez had Thunder bombard the port for some weeks with little result. When Admiral Saumerez instructed Caulfield to withdraw he requested permission to remain a little longer. After the British and the Swedes abandoned the blockade in the face of the approaching winter, the Russian fleet was able to return to Kronstadt.

    On 20 and 24 April 1809 Thunder was at the Battle of the Basque Roads. She did not participate in the original attack on 11 April, but after the French 74-gun Régulus stranded on a shoal at the entrance to the Charente, Thunder shelled her, but without success. The French eventuall refloated Regulus and got her into Rochefort. In 1847 the Admiralty issued the clasp "Basque Roads 1809" to the NGSM to all surviving claimants from the battle.

    In July and August, Thunder took part in the Walcheren Campaign. On 22 August HMS Hound, Aetna, and Thunder were by the town of Doel and fired mortar shells to deter the French from throwing up a battery. Through the 30th the bomb vessels continued to shell the battery, and also enemy troops on the other side of the Scheldt. During the first week in September the British started to withdraw, ending their Walcheren campaign, having sustained heavy losses to disease and having nothing to show for their efforts.

    Commander Caulfield was promoted to post captain in August 1809, with the promotion backdated to 11 April. Commander William Shepheard took command in December 1809. He sailed for Cadiz and the Mediterranean on 21 March 1810.

    At the end of 1810 the French were besieging Cadiz.

    Commander William Pell replaced Shepheard on 11 November. The French had assembled a flotilla of gun-boats to attack the town so on 23 November Thunder, Devastation, and Aetna, with a number of English and Spanish mortar and gun-boats, attacked the French flotilla at El Puerto de Santa María, between them firing some hundred shells with considerable effect.

    In early 1812, HMS Stately, Druid and Thunder supported the British capture of Tarifa, near Cadiz. Thunder then returned to her station at Cadiz by Fort Catalina at the southern end of the Bay of Bulls, and protected Isla de León. The French abandoned their siege in August.

    Thunder then moved to the coast of Valencia. She returned to England in September 1813.

    On 9 October 1813 Thunder captured the French privateer Neptune off the Owers. Neptune, a lugger, came up on Thunder and called on the British to strike. Thunder fired a broadside (four guns), and small arms, and then came alongside. Thunder's men captured the privateer by boarding. Neptune, of Dunkirk, was two days out of La Hogue and had captured nothing. She was pierced for 18 guns, with 16 mounted. She had a complement of 68 men, of whom 65 were aboard. In the action she suffered four men killed and ten wounded, five of whom were severely wounded, one of whom later died. Thunder had only two men wounded, albeit one severely. Thunder brought Neptune into the Downs; an early report put the casualties aboard Thunder as one killed and one wounded, and the casualties aboard the privateer as 20 killed and wounded. The next report in Lloyd's List named the privateer as Neptune.[ In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the NGSM with clasp "Thunder 9 Octr. 1813" to all surviving claimants from the action.

    Fate.

    Thunder sold for £1,250 on 30 June 1814.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  15. #15
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    HMS Whiting (1805)


    HMS Whiting was a Royal Navy Ballahoo-class schooner (a type of vessel often described as a Bermuda sloop) of four 12-pounder carronades and a crew of 20. The prime contractor for the vessel was Goodrich & Co., in Bermuda, and she was launched in 1805. She was a participant at the Battle of Basque Roads but was captured by a French privateer at the beginning of the War of 1812 after having been taken and released by the Americans in the first naval action of the war.

    History
    Great Britain
    Name: HMS Whiting
    Ordered: 23 June 1803
    Builder: Goodrich & Co. (prime contractor), Bermuda
    Laid down: 1803
    Launched: November 1805
    Honours and
    awards:
    Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Basque Roads 1809"
    Captured:
    • American privateer Dash 8 July 1812; released
    • By French privateer Diligent 22 August 1812
    Fate: Unknown
    General characteristics
    Type: Ballahoo-class schooner
    Tonnage: 70​4194 (bm)
    Length:
    • 55 ft 2 in (16.8 m) (overall)
    • 40 ft 10 12 in (12.5 m) (keel)
    Beam: 18 ft 0 in (5.5 m)
    Depth of hold: 9 ft 0 in (2.7 m)
    Sail plan: Schooner
    Complement: 20
    Armament: 4 x 12-pounder carronades

    Napoleonic Wars.

    In 1805 Whiting was under the command of Lieutenant John Orkney at Halifax on her way to Portsmouth for completion, which took place between 26 April and 19 May 1806.[1] Before that, however, at end-September she captured and sent into Bermuda an American vessel from Bordeaux carrying brandy and wine.

    Whiting was commissioned in June 1806 under Lieutenant George Roach for the North Sea. However, already on 18 June Whiting, Moucheron, and the hired armed cutter John Bull arrived at Madeira. They were to join up with a squadron under Sir John Borlase Warren, and they sailed from Madeira to Join it on 21 June.

    Even so, Whiting was still or again under the command of Orkney when on 29 November she captured the Spanish lugger Felicided. Orkney had also destroyed another vessel after transferring a small quantity of hides to the Felicidad.

    On 7 September 1807 Whiting was part of the fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen.

    In January 1808 Lieutenant Henry Wildey assumed command. On 30 June Whiting was in attendance when her sister ship Capelin hit the Parquette Rock off Brest, France and sank.

    At the beginning of March 1809 Whiting joined the fleet assembling for an attack on the French fleet in the Basque Roads. William Congreve, who had arrived with a transport, fitted Whiting and the two the hired armed cutters Nimrod and King George with rockets. On 11 April the three vessels took up a position near the Boyart Shoal (see Fort Boyard) while fireships made a night attack on the French ships. The next day all three, together with a number of other vessels, opened fire upon the French ships Océan, Régulus, and the frigate Indienne, as those ships lay aground. The first two eventually escaped, and the last was one of four eventually destroyed, though by her own crew some days later to avoid capture. In 1847 the Admiralty authorized the issuance of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Basque Roads 1809" to all surviving British participants in the battle.
    On 13 April Whiting sailed for Portugal. For the next few years she sailed in the Channel, to the west, and to the coast of Spain going as far as Cadiz and Gibraltar. Wildey was promoted to Commander on 3 May 1810.
    Whiting sent Mountaineer, Dow, master, into Plymouth, where she arrived on 6 July 1811. Mountaineer had been sailing from London to Honduras when she ran into Whiting off Dungeness, carrying away her main mast, and for and mizzen topmast.

    On 20 December 1811 Whiting left Plymouth for Padstow, to assist the gun brig Bloodhound, which had run on shore near there.

    In 1812 Lieutenant Lewis Maxey assumed command of Whiting. On 1 May he sailed for the Americas.


    War of 1812.

    Whiting did not survive the opening months of the War of 1812. Having sailed from Plymouth, she entered Hampton Roads on 8 July 1812 with despatches for the American government, and lowered her anchor. Unfortunately war had been declared about two weeks earlier. As Maxey was being rowed ashore, the Norfolk privateer Dash, under Captain Garroway, was leaving port and captured her. Dash had one large gun on a pivot and a crew of 80. Not only were a third of Whiting's crew in her boat, the rest were not at the guns as they were unaware that Britain and the United States were now at war.

    This could have been the first naval capture of the war. However, Whiting was carrying official dispatches for the American government, which ordered her release. Instead, the first capture by either side was the British capture of USS Nautilus on 16 July.

    In mid-August, the US Revenue Cutter Gallatin led Whiting out to the Hampton Roads and turned over to Maxey her crew "at the place where they were taken". The Americans then ordered Maxey to quit American waters with all possible speed.

    Fate.

    Shortly after Whiting left Hampton Roads for England, on 22 August the French 18-gun privateer brig Diligent, under Alexis Grassin, captured her. On 8 September Diligent would capture the 10-gun schooner HMS Laura.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Hired armed cutter Nimrod.

    During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars the British Royal Navy made use of hired armed vessels, one of which was His Majesty's hired armed cutter Nimrod. Three such vessels are recorded, but the descriptions of these vessels and the dates of their service are such that they may well represent one vessel under successive contracts. The vessel or vessels cruised, blockaded, carried despatches, and performed reconnaissance.

    Nimrod of 75​ tons burthen and six 3-pounder guns that served from 11 October 1808 to 20 May 1814.

    On 1 January 1809 Nimrod was under the command of Master's Mate Edward Tapley and shared in the proceeds of the recapture of the ship Crawford by Amazon.

    In April 1809 Nimrod served at the Battle of the Basque Roads. William Congreve, who had arrived with a transport, fitted Whiting, Nimrod and the other hired armed cutter, King George, with rockets. On 11 April the three vessels took up a position near the Boyard Shoal (see Fort Boyard) while fireships made a night attack on the French ships. The next day all three, together with a number of other vessels, opened fire upon Océan, Régulus, and the frigate Indienne, as those ships lay aground. The first two eventually escaped, and the last was one of four eventually destroyed, though by her own crew some days later to avoid capture. In 1847 the surviving members of the crews of all the British vessels at the battle qualified for the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Basque Roads 1809".

    On 9 November 1809 Nimrod and the hired armed cutter Adrian were among the vessels that shared in Snapper's capture of the French brig Modeste. Around the end of December, Nimrod, under the command of Jno. Tapley, recaptured the ship Elshon.

    On 12 September 1810, Nimrod was under the command of William Peake when she captured Sophie. Then on 28 September Nimrod was among the vessels sharing in the capture of San Nicolas and Aventura. Next, on 13 December 1810 Nimrod was in company with Venerable and several other vessels at the capture of Goede Trouw. Lastly, on 18 December, Nimrod, and Royal Oak were in sight when Valiant captured the American schooner Polly.

    On 7 January 1811 Nimrod captured Maria Francoise and sent her into Plymouth as a prize. Prize money was due to be paid in August 1811. Nimrod, Poictiers, and Caledonia shared in the capture on 22 August 1812 of the cargo of the French vessel Auguste. The British removed her cargo of wine before destroying her. On 22 November, Nimrod, under the command of Thomas Peake, captured Belisario.
    On 23 December Nimrod, Thomas Peake, Master and Commander, was in company with Armide when they recaptured the English brig Sparkler, A. Brown, master. Nimrod sent Sparkler into Portland Roads. Sparkler had been sailing from Cadiz to London when captured.

    In January 1813 Nimrod was escorting a convoy when the American privateer Hunter, of 16 guns and 80 men, succeeded in capturing a transport and a brig. Shortly thereafter HMS Phoebe captured Hunter and sent her into Plymouth.

    On 9 March Nimrod recaptured Margaret, J. Simpson, master. The American privateer True Blooded Yankee had taken Margaret and put on board a prize crew that included a British seaman, John Wiltshire. The British tried Wiltshire for piracy and hanged him.

    In January 1814, while serving in the blockade of Brest, Nimrod was present when Clarence captured the brig Henriette. This gave rise to a court case in which Clarence claimed sole prize rights and the other vessels in the blockading squadron claimed shares. The Court ruled that as a matter of principle: "When a prize is taken coming out of a blockaded port, by one of the blockading squadron stationed off the mouth of the harbour, the other ships of the squadron, although stationed at some distance, are entitled to share."
    However, when the case came up for a hearing on the evidence, the court rejected the squadron's claim on the grounds that Henriette did not come out from Brest but rather was a small coaster traveling between Legue and Croisi that had taken shelter in Cannonet Bay.

    On 2 July 1815 the Chasse-marée Virgen de Roden came into Falmouth. She was a prize to the cutter Nimrod. She had been sailing from Bordeaux to Brest with a cargo of wine, brandy, etc.

    Other Nimrods.

    There was also a Nimrod of 69 tons burthen, eight 3-pounder guns, and under the command of Thomas Tapley, that received a letter of marque on 15 September 1795. She may have been the same vessel as the first Nimrod above, but if so she would not have been operating simultaneously under a contract with the Royal Navy and a letter of marque.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Armed cutter King George.


    The third cutter of this name, King George was a smaller vessel than her predecessor(s). She was a former packet boat of 58 ​tons (bm), and carried six 4-pounder guns. She served from 30 May 1803 to 15 December 1804, and again from 17 September 1807 until 18 May 1814.

    First contract.

    In 1803 she was under the command of a Lieutenant Brown. On 25 May King George was part of a squadron of six vessels that captured the Matilda.

    In July and August 1804 King George participated in the squadron under Captain Robert Dudley Oliver in HMS Melpomene at the bombardment of French vessels at Le Havre. The bomb vessels' shells and carcasses set the town on fire on 23 July. On 1 August, the vessels kept a continuous fire for three hours. Still, it is not clear that the bombardment did much damage to the French flotilla. On 31 July the squadron did capture the French vessel Papillon.
    King George also shared in the capture, on 15 September, of the Flora de Lisboa, off Havre.

    Second contract.

    On 17 August 1807 King George was among the vessels sharing in the capture of the Hans and Jacob. Then four days later King George was among the vessels that captured the Twee Gebroders.

    In her second contract, King George, under the command of Master's Mate Thomas Mercer, participated in the Battle of the Basque Roads. William Congreve, who had arrived with a transport, fitted King George, Whiting and the other hired armed cutter, Nimrod, with rockets. On 11 April the three vessels took up a position near the Boyart (see Fort Boyard) Shoal while fireships made a night attack on the French ships. The next day all three, together with a number of other vessels, opened fire upon Océan, Régulus, and the frigate Indienne, as those ships lay aground. The first two eventually escaped, and the last was one of four eventually destroyed, though by her own crew some days later to avoid capture. In 1847 the surviving members of the crews of all the British vessels at the battle qualified for the Naval General Service Medal with the clasp "Basque Roads 1809". Rear-Admiral Robert Stopford sent King George back to England with dispatches.

    On 24 November 1809 King George captured a Danish galiot whose name later was established as the Texel. Then on 14 January 1810 she recaptured the Drie Gebroeders, J.F. Learman, Master.

    On 10 March 1811, while under command of Thomas Mercer, Master, she was in company with Desiree when they captured the French privateer cutter Velocifere. Velocifere was armed with 14 guns and had a crew of 57 men.

    On 10 March 1812 King George and Mr. Thomas Mercer were in company with Prospero, Aquilon and Raven when they captured the American brig John. Then on 27 June King George captured the Jonge Antonio.

    On 17 September 1812, King George captured the merchant vessel Friede, and was present when Desiree captured the merchant vessel Dasikbaarheit. On 19 September Hearty was in company with Desiree and King George when they captured the Friede. Two days later Hearty and King George captured the Frau Maria.

    On 12 May 1813 King George captured off Lowestoff the small French privateer Elise (or Eliza). The Eliza had a crew of 15 men, armed with small arms. She had been out three days without capturing anything, and came into Yarmouth the next day.

    On 18 October 1813, King George captured the Director and the Elizabeth. Then on 15 December King George captured the Alexandria.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    OFFSHORE FLEET LORD GAMBIER.


    HMS Caledonia (1808)

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    HMS Caledonia, 120 guns, lying in Plymouth SoundHMS Caledonia was a 120-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 25 June 1808 at Plymouth. She was Admiral Pellew's flagship in the Mediterranean. .
    History.
    UK
    Name: HMS Caledonia
    Ordered: 19 January 1797
    Builder: Plymouth Dockyard
    Laid down: January 1805
    Launched: 25 June 1808
    Renamed: HMS Dreadnought, 1856
    Honours and
    awards:
    Participated in bombardment of Algiers, 1816
    Fate: Broken up, 1875
    General characteristics.
    Class and type: Caledonia-class ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 2616​594 (bm)
    Length: 205 ft (62 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 53 ft 6 in (16.31 m)
    Depth of hold: 23 ft 2 in (7.06 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • 120 guns:
    • Gundeck: 32 × 32 pdrs
    • Middle gundeck: 34 × 24 pdrs
    • Upper gundeck: 34 × 18 pdrs
    • Quarterdeck: 6 × 12 pdrs, 10 × 32 pdr carronades
    • Forecastle: 2 × 12 pdrs, 2 × 32 pdr carronades
    • Poop deck: 2 × 18 pdr carronades

    Construction.

    The Admiralty orders for Caledonia's construction were issued in November 1794, for a 100-gun vessel measuring approximately 2,600 tons burthen. There were considerable delays in obtaining dockyard facilities and in assembling a workforce, and actual building did not commence until 1805 when the keel was laid down at Plymouth Dockyard. By this time the designs had also been amended to stipulate construction of a 120-gun vessel of 2,616​594 tons. When completed to this new design in 1808, Caledonia entered Royal Navy service as the largest and most heavily armed vessel of the time.

    Active service.

    Caledonia proved to be a very successful ship, and it was said that 'This fine three-decker rides easy at her anchors, carries her lee ports well, rolls and pitches quite easy, generally carries her helm half a turn a-weather, steers, works and stays remarkably well, is a weatherly ship, and lies-to very close.' She was 'allowed by all hands to be faultless'. In later years she was to become the standard design for British three-deckers.


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    Fight of the Romulus against HMS Boyne and HMS Caledonia, by Gilbert Pierre-Julien (1783 - 1860)

    On 12 February 1814 she took part with HMS Boyne in action against the French ship of the line Romulus off Toulon; the French vessel managed to escape to Toulon by sailing close to the coast to avoid being surrounded.
    In 1831 she was part of the Experimental Squadron of the Channel Fleet under Sir Edward Codrington. On 12 September that year she took part in an experiment whereby she was towed by the frigate HMS Galatea by means of hand-worked paddles alone.

    In 1856 she was converted to a hospital ship, renamed Dreadnought and became the second floating Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital at Greenwich, where she remained until 1870. In 1871 she was briefly returned to service to accommodate patients recovering from the smallpox epidemic of that year. She was broken up in 1875.

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    Caledonia as Dreadnought towed away on her final voyage.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    HMS Caesar (1793)


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    HMS Caesar engaging Mont Blanc at the Battle of Cape Ortegal, 4 November 1805

    HMS Caesar, also Cæsar, was an 80-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 16 November 1793 at Plymouth. She was designed by Sir Edward Hunt, and was the only ship built to her draught.[1] She was also one of only two British-built 80-gun ships of the period, the other being HMS Foundroyant.

    History
    UK
    Name: HMS Caesar
    Ordered: November 1783
    Builder: Plymouth Dockyard
    Laid down: 24 January 1786
    Launched: 16 November 1793
    Fate: Broken up, 1821
    Notes:
    General characteristics
    Class and type: 80-gun third rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 2002 ​7494 (bm)
    Length: 181 ft (55 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 51 ft 3 in (15.62 m)
    Depth of hold: 22 ft 4 in (6.81 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • 80 guns:
    • Gundeck: 30 × 32 pdrs
    • Upper gundeck: 32 × 24 pdrs
    • Quarterdeck: 14 × 9 pdrs
    • Forecastle: 4 × 9 pdrs

    Service.

    Battle of Algeciras Bay.

    She was involved in the Battle of Algeciras Bay in 1801, during which her Master, William Grave, was killed[

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    Battle of Cape Ortegal.


    The Battle of Cape Ortegal was the final action of the Trafalgar Campaign, and was fought between a squadron of the Royal Navy and a remnant of the fleet that had been destroyed several weeks earlier at the Battle of Trafalgar. It took place on 4 November 1805 off Cape Ortegal, in north-west Spain and saw a squadron under Captain Sir Richard Strachan in Caesar defeat and capture a French squadron under Rear-Admiral Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley.

    Battle of Les Sables-d'Olonne.

    In 1809, she took part in the Battle of Les Sables-d'Olonne.

    Fate.

    She was converted to serve as a depot ship in 1814, and was broken up in 1821.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    HMS Gibraltar.

    Spanish ship Fenix (1749)

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    Ship-of-the-line Fénix by Rafael Berenguer y Condé, Naval Museum of Madrid

    The Fénix was an 80-gun ship-of-the-line (navio) of the Spanish Navy, built by Pedro de Torres at Havana in accordance with the system laid down by Antonio Gaztaneta launched in 1749.

    History
    Spain
    Name: Fenix
    Builder: Havana Dockyard
    Laid down: 1 July 1747
    Launched: 26 February 1749
    Commissioned: 1 December 1749
    Honours and
    awards:
    Captured: 16 January 1780, by Royal Navy


    United Kingdom

    Name: HMS Gibraltar
    Acquired: 16 January 1780
    Honours and
    awards:
    Fate: Broken up, 1836
    General characteristics.
    Class and type: 80-gun third rate ship-of-the-line
    Tons burthen: 2,184 ​2594 (bm)
    Length:
    • 178 ft 10 34 in (54.5 m) (gundeck)
    • 144 ft 5 34 in (44.0 m) (keel)
    Beam: 53 ft 3 34 in (16.2 m)
    Depth of hold: 22 ft 4 in (6.8 m)
    Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
    Complement: 650
    Armament:
    • Lower deck:30 × 24-pounder guns
    • Upper deck:
      • 1780:32 × 18-pounder guns
      • 1781:32 × 24-pounder guns

    • QD:
      • 1780:12 × 9-pounder guns + 2 × 68-pounder carronades
      • 1810:4 × 12-pounder guns + 8 × 32-pounder carronades

    • Fc:
      • 1780:6 × 9-pounder guns
      • 1810:4 × 12-pounder guns + 2 × 32-pounder carronades
    Fénix was a Spanish, two deck, ship-of-the-line built in Havana from mahogany. Launched in 1749, her dimensions were 178 feet 10.75 inches (54.5 m) along the gun deck, 144 feet 6 inches (44.0 m) at the keel, with a beam of 52 feet 11.75 inches (16.1 m) and a depth in the hold of 22 feet 1.75 inches (6.8 m). This made her 2,184 ​3594 tons burthen (bm).

    Classed as an 80-gun third-rate, Fénix was armed with thirty 24 pounders (11 kg) on her lower gun deck, thirty-two 18 pounders (8.2 kg) on her upper gun deck, twelve 9 pounders (4.1 kg) on the quarterdeck, and six on the forecastle. Her sister ship, Rayo, was later converted to a 100-gun, three-decker. She was wrecked at Trafalgar in 1805.


    In 1759, she was sent to bring the new king, Carlos III, from Naples to Barcelona. When Spain entered the American Revolutionary War in June 1779, the Fénix set sail for the English Channel where she was to join a Franco-Spanish fleet of more than 60 ships-of-the-line under Lieutenant General Luis de Córdova y Córdova. The Armada of 1779 was an invasion force of 40,000 troops with orders to capture the British naval base at Portsmouth.

    As the flagship of Admiral Juan de Lángara, the ship fought at the Battle of Cape St Vincent on 16 January 1780, where she was captured by the British Royal Navy and commissioned as the third rate HMS Gibraltar in March of that year.

    She was copper sheathed and fitted out for British service at Plymouth Dockyard between April and August 1780 at a cost of £16,068.5.3d. The Admiralty changed her armament a number of times: in November 1781 the 18-pounders on her upper deck were upgraded to 24 pounders (11 kg), and the same December two 68 pounders (31 kg) carronades were added. By 1810, the guns on her quarterdeck had been replaced with four 12 pounders (5.4 kg) guns and eight 32 pounders (15 kg) carronades, and on her forecastle with four 12 pounders (5.4 kg) guns and two 32 pounders (15 kg) carronades. Although large, two deck ships were favoured in other European navies, the British preferred to build three-deck third-rates; the extra space making them better suited for flagships. After the capture of Fenix, the Admiralty began to see the advantages of a longer two-deck ship which was less prone to hog, almost as well armed as its three-decked counterparts, and relatively quick.


    She spent a short while in the English Channel before joining Samuel Hood's squadron in the West Indies and taking part in the Capture of St Eustatius in February 1781 and the Battle of Fort Royal the following month. Gibraltar and five other ships were sent to stop a French invasion fleet bound for Tobago in May 1781, but found the French too powerful and had to withdraw. In November, her 18-pound guns were replaced with 24-pounders, after which, in February 1782, she sailed to the East Indies and in the following year participated in the Battle of Cuddalore.

    At the start of the French Revolutionary War, Gibraltar served in the Channel Fleet, fighting at the Glorious First of June in 1794 before being sent to the Mediterranean in May 1795. In June, the ship was in an action off Hyères; then, in December 1796, she was badly damaged in a storm and had to return to England for major repairs. By June Gibraltar was back in the Mediterranean, serving in the navy's Egyptian campaign, where she remained during and beyond the Peace of Amiens, except for a short period when she was sent home for a refit.

    Returning to the Channel in April 1807, Gibraltar joined the fleet under Admiral James Gambier, which fought the Battle of the Basque Roads in 1809. This was her last major action; the ship was taken out of service in 1813 and converted to a powder hulk. She became a lazarette in 1824, then was broken up in November 1836 at Pembroke Dock.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    HMS Hero (1803)

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    The wreck of HMS Hero in the Texel, 25 December 1811


    HMS Hero was a 74-gun third rate of the Royal Navy, launched on 18 August 1803 at Blackwall Yard.
    .
    History
    UK
    Name: HMS Hero
    Ordered: 24 June 1800
    Builder: Perry, Blackwall Yard
    Laid down: August 1800
    Launched: 18 August 1803
    Honours and
    awards:
    Fate: Wrecked, 1811
    Notes: Only 12 of her crew of 530 survived.

    General characteristics
    Class and type: Fame-class ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1743 (bm)
    Length: 175 ft (53 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 47 ft 6 in (14.48 m)
    Depth of hold: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Complement: 530
    Armament:
    • 74 guns:
    • Gundeck: 28 × 32-pounder guns
    • Upper gundeck: 28 × 18-pounder guns
    • QD: 14 × 9-pounder guns
    • Fc: 4 × 9-pounder guns
    She took part in Admiral Robert Calder's action at the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805 and the Basque roads in 1809.

    On 25 December 1811 Hero, under captain James Newman-Newman, was wrecked on the Haak Sands at the mouth of the Texel during a gale, with the loss of all but 12 of her crew.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    HMS Theseus (1786)


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    HMS Theseus in the 1804 Antigua–Charleston hurricane.

    HMS Theseus was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy.
    One of the eight Culloden class ships designed by Thomas Slade, she was built at Perry, Blackwall Yard, London and launched on 25 September 1786.


    History
    UK
    Name: HMS Theseus
    Namesake: Theseus
    Ordered: 11 July 1780
    Builder: Perry, Blackwall Yard
    Laid down: 3 September 1783
    Launched: 25 September 1786
    Fate: Broken up, 1814
    Notes: ·Participated in:
    ·Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
    ·Battle of the Nile
    ·Siege of Acre.
    ·Battle of the Basque Roads

    General characteristics

    Class and type:

    Culloden
    -class
    ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1660 (bm)
    Length: 170 ft (52 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 47 ft 2 in (14.38 m)
    Depth of hold: 19 ft 11 in (6.07 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament: ·Gundeck: 28 × 32-pounder guns
    ·Upper gundeck: 28 × 18-pounder guns
    ·QD: 14 × 9-pounder guns
    ·Fc: 4 × 9-pounder guns


    Service.



    Theseus was the flagship of Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson's fleet for the 1797 Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Day to day command was vested in her flag captain Ralph Willett Miller. The British were soundly defeated and Nelson was wounded by a musket ball while aboard the Theseus, precipitating the amputation of his right arm.

    Despite the defeat, morale and good order were retained aboard the ship. In August 1797 ship's surgeon Robert Tainsh reported a mere nine cases of illness aboard, with little incidence of scurvy and a ready supply of antiscorbutics. An outbreak of ulcers was attributed to the overuse of salted provisions and addressed by Miller's insistence on ensuring a supply of onions and lemons as part of daily rations. Also with Miller's approval, the lower deck ports were periodically washed with nitrous acid to reduce the risk of mould, windsails were installed to encourage a flow of fresh air below decks and the crew's hammocks were ordered to be aired three times a week.

    Battle of the Nile.

    In 1798, Theseus took part in the decisive Battle of the Nile, under the command of Captain Ralph Willett Miller. The Royal Navy fleet was outnumbered, at least in firepower, by the French fleet, which boasted the 118-gun ship-of-the-line L'Orient, three 80-gun warships and nine of the popular 74-gun ships. The Royal Navy fleet in comparison had just thirteen 74-gun ships and one 50-gun fourth-rate.


    During the battle Theseus, along with Goliath, assisted Alexander and Majestic, who were being attacked by a number of French warships. The French frigate Artemise surrendered to the British, with the crew setting fire to their ship to prevent it falling into the hands of the British. Two other French ships Heureux and Mercure ran aground and soon surrendered after a brief encounter with three British warships, one of which was Theseus.

    The battle was a success for the Royal Navy, as well as for the career of Admiral Nelson. It cut supply lines to the French army in Egypt, whose wider objective was to threaten British India. The casualties were heavy; the French suffered over 1,700 killed, over 600 wounded and 3,000 captured. The British suffered 218 dead and 677 wounded. Nine French warships were captured and two destroyed. Two other French warships managed to escape. Theseus had five sailors killed and thirty wounded, included one officer and five Royal Marines.

    Siege of Acre.

    Theseus played a less successful role in the 1799 Siege of Acre, under the command of Captain Ralph Willett Miller. On 13 May 1799 she reached the nearby port of Caesarea, and Miller ordered the ship readied for action in bombarding Acre the following morning. A large quantity of ammunition was brought to the deck for use by the ships guns, including more than 70 18-pound and 36-pound shells. At 9.30am on the 14th, the ammunition was accidentally ignited while the ship was under way. The resulting explosion set fire to the deck, mainmast and mizzen mast, and killed Miller and 25 other men. Another 45 crew members were injured.

    Flames quickly spread between Theseus' decks, and a second detonation of ammunition stores destroyed the poop and quarterdecks and toppled the main mast over the starboard bow. A further ten men were killed before the fire was brought under control, leaving the ship unserviceable for the Acre campaign.

    Later service.

    Name:  Capt_J._Beresford_leading_the_British_squadron_in_HMS_Theseus._02379_0608.jpg
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    Capt J. Beresford leading the British squadron in the Theseus on 24 February 1809

    Four years later a refitted Theseus took part Blockade of Saint-Domingue in 1803, under Captain John Bligh. She also took part in the Battle of the Basque Roads in 1809. Lord Cochrane initiated a daring attack, led by fire ships and other explosive vessels, in an attempt to cause chaos among their target, an anchored French squadron. Many of the French ships were subsequently run aground due to the havoc that this attack caused. The enemy squadron would probably have been completely destroyed had the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Lord Gambier, not hesitated over necessary decisions, such as to deploy the main fleet which instead lay in wait for their orders. Thus the remnants of the French escaped destruction.


    Theseus was broken up at Chatham in 1814.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  23. #23
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    HMS Revenge (1805)

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    HMS Revenge at Gosport

    HMS Revenge was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 13 April 1805. Sir John Henslow designed her as one of the large class 74s; she was the only ship built to her draught. As a large 74, she carried 24-pounder guns on her upper gun deck, rather than the 18-pounder guns found on the middling and common class 74s
    History.

    UK
    Name: HMS Revenge
    Ordered: 29 September 1796
    Builder: Chatham Dockyard
    Laid down: August 1800
    Launched: 13 April 1805
    Honours and
    awards:
    Participated in:
    Battle of Trafalgar
    Fate: Broken up, 1849

    General characteristics.

    Class and type: 74-gun third-rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1954 (bm)
    Length: 181 ft 11 in (55.4 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 49 ft 2 in (15.0 m)
    Depth of hold: 20 ft 9 in (6.3 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Gundeck: 28 × 32-pounder guns
    • Upper gundeck: 30 × 24-pounder guns
    • QD: 12 × 9-pounder guns
    • Fc: 4 × 9-pounder guns


    Career.


    Newly commissioned, and captained by Robert Moorsom, she fought at the Battle of Trafalgar, where she sailed in Collingwood's column.
    Revenge was engaged at the Battle of Basque Roads in April 1809 under Captain Alexander Robert Kerr.

    In October 1810, Revenge captured the French privateer cutter Vauteur off Cherbourg after a five-hour chase. Vauteur had been armed with 16 guns, but she threw 14 of them overboard during the chase. She had been out of Dieppe for 45 hours but had made no captures. She was the former British cutter John Bull, of Plymouth, and was restored to Plymouth on 19 October. The report in Lloyd's List announcing this news appears to have confused names. Vauteur appears to have been Vengeur. There is no account of Revenge capturing a Vauteur, but on 17 October, Revenge captured the French privateer lugger Vengeur, off Cherbourg. The lugger crossed to windward of Revenge before daylight, and Revenge gave chase, finally capturing her quarry after three hours. Vengeur was armed with 16 guns and had a crew of 78 men. She was one day out of Dieppe and had not taken any prizes.

    On 6 November, Donegal captured the privateer Surcouf. Revenge, Donegal, and the hired armed lugger Sandwich would share in the prize money for Vengeur and Surcouf.

    On 13 November 1810, the frigates Diana and Niobe attacked two French frigates (Elisa and Amazone), which sought protection under the shore batteries near Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue. Revenge and Donegal arrived two days later and together the four ships fired upon the French for as long as the tide would allow. The operation cost Donegal three men wounded. Élisa was driven ashore and ultimately destroyed as a result of this action; Amazone escaped safely into Le Havre.

    Fate.

    Revenge served until 1842, being broken up in 1849. She was one of the first warships of the Royal Navy to be painted with the Nelson Checker.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Battle Instructions.

    For the 11th of April.

    1. Explosion ship to sail up to the harbour boom, come to rest against it and detonate. Points awarded for success of explosion, and recovery of the crew in small cutter. Commander of the Explosion ship must decide when to extricate crew, and number of turns to set fuse for. From that point the ship will sail with the wind direction and tide which is on the flow. Any vessel within half a ruler of the detonation must draw two B chits of damage. If a special damage chit is drawn a card from the special Fire Deck must be drawn.

    2. Fire ships. Must follow up the explosion ship, and enter the Aix Roads as soon as the boom is annihilated. Commanders must announce when fires are lit and draw a card at this time from the special fire deck. Once the fire is set you must withdraw in your ships boats. After this the progress of the fire ships will be at the whim of the wind and tide. Points awarded for any fire ship which hits a French ship and sets it on fire.

    3. Supporting ships. Sail into the Aix Roads behind the Fireships and attack any French vessels in the Aix Roads, either resisting or drifting toward the shoals. Points awarded for either sinking or boarding and setting fire to enemy ships.

    Special rules.

    a. All ships excepting the fireships and explosion ship who are en-flute may be armed with 50% carronades if the commanding officer so wishes and you know your rules for them!

    b. All ships may have Bow chasers which fire as normal cannon per the rules but inflict one A damage chit irrespective of distance from the enemy but within one and a half rulers of the target. these guns do not effect your broadside fire power in any way.

    c. Fire your fore or aft battery and your other half battery will still be considered loaded. This means that you simply deduct that number from the broadside and during the next move you may choose to use rhe remaining guns, or start to reload as per usual.

    d. The wind may veer purely at the whim of the games master simply on the roll of a wind direction dice.

    For the 12th of April only.

    Ships destroyed or run aground will be credited points as per usual. Bonus points will be awarded for any of the following objectives:-
    Destroying the French Flagship Ocean.

    Boarding and setting on fire the following ships if they are still in the game:-

    Ville de Varsovie.
    Aquilon.
    Calcutta.

    (These latter three actions actually took place.)

    The Ocean is a bonus point for going one better than the actual action.

    Good luck to all Captains, and remember that any dissension over the rules will mean your being dismissed to your cabin in disgrace.
    Bligh.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  25. #25
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    Captain GEORGE WOLFE, Esq


    A Companion of the most Honorable Military Order of the Bath.

    [Post-Captain of 1800.]

    This officer was born Aug. 3, 1766, and had the misfortune to lose his father when only eight years of age. His mother (a daughter of Colonel Sharpless, who served with credit under Charles, second Duke of Marlborough), after repeated attempts to divert him from his early intentions of becoming a sailor, at length yielded to the persuasions of the late Lady Spencer, under whose patronage he entered the naval service as a Midshipman on board the Ocean of 90 guns, commanded by Captain George Ourry, April 2, 1780.

    The Ocean formed part of the Channel fleet under Admiral Geary, at the capture of twelve French West Indiamen, valued at 91,000l., July 3, 1780. She was likewise present at the relief of Gibraltar, by Vice-Admiral Darby; and the capture of fifteen transports, laden with military stores and full of troops, in 1781; as also at the capture of twelve others, April 20, 1782.

    Mr. Wolfe continued in the Ocean, which ship was successively commanded by Captains Ourry, Edgar, Cleland, and Phipps, till May 1782, when he was removed into the Royal George, a first rate, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Kempenfelt, in the Channel fleet. Fortunately for him he escaped sharing the fate of many of his former messmates, who were lost in that noble vessel at Spithead, by following Captain Phipps into the Berwick of 74 guns. This may with propriety be termed the third miraculous escape he had experienced in less than two years and a half, from the commencement of his professional career.

    The Berwick accompanied Earl Howe to the relief of Gibraltar, in 1782; and bore a part in the subsequent action with the combined fleets off Cape Spartel, on which occasion Mr. Wolfe was wounded in the face and neck. During the remainder of the war, we find her stationed in the West Indies, under the orders of Admiral Pigot. She was put out of commission June 30, 1783.

    During the ensuing peace, Mr. Wolfe served in the various ships commanded by Captains Herbert Sawyer, Charles Chamberlayne, Robert Fanshawe, Charles M. Pole, J. Smith, and Thomas Hicks.

    In 1790, an explosion accidentally took place on board the Orion 74, Captain Chamberlayne, then at anchor in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes. Mr. Wolfe was at that time confined to his bed by a fever, which had already carried off 23 men, and to which the Surgeon, who was an atheist, predicted he would also fall a victim in less than twenty-four hours. So great was the alarm among the crew, that many of the people jumped through the ports and were drowned. During the confusion, Mr. Wolfe’s cot was broken down, and as he lay on the deck, his ears were assailed by the dreadful cries of some who were drowning, and others in distress. Not relishing the idea of being burnt alive, he contrived to pull on his trowsers and crawl to the gun-room ports, where he saw the Surgeon hanging by the rudder chains, kicking and screaming most furiously, and holding out his purse as an inducement for a boat that had been sent to the Orion’s assistance, to come and save him from being devoured by the sharks: so much for the carelessness about futurity, of a person who denied the existence of a God, and attributed “surrounding nature and all its astonishing phoenomena to chance, or a fortuitous concourse of atoms.” Strengthened in an extraordinary manner by the fright to which he had been subjected, Mr. Wolfe managed to hand the poor wretch a rope’s end, by which he was enabled once more to obtain a firm footing on the Orion’s deck, and observe the recovery of his patient; the preservation of whose life may reasonably be attributed to his dormant pulse being suddenly roused into action by the terror excited in his breast, on hearing the appalling cry of “fire,” and witnessing the despair of his shipmates.

    At the commencement of the French revolutionary war, Mr. Wolfe, who had passed his examination upwards of four years, joined the Windsor Castle, a second rate, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Cosby, with whom he soon after sailed for the Mediterranean station. During the occupation of Toulon by the allied forces, he served as a volunteer in several land and floating batteries, and was consequently often engaged with the enemy. After the evacuation of that place, and while the fleet was lying among the Hieres islands, an hospital ship parted her cable, and drifted into a small bay, where she was completely commanded by the republicans. The boats of the fleet were immediately sent to take out her wounded and sick inmates; but owing to the sharp fire kept up by the enemy from behind a breastwork, as they approached, the Windsor Castle’s launch, commanded by Mr. Richard Hawkins, a Midshipman, was the only boat that succeeded in boarding her. On this occasion, one of the launch’s crew was killed, but 12 wounded soldiers were rescued.
    It being determined to renew the attempt, an order was issued for all the boats to assemble alongside a frigate, sent in shore to cover them in their approach. The Windsor Castle’s launch was this time commanded by Mr. Wolfe, who volunteered his services, and was fortunate enough to bring off 13 more of the wounded men. He was soon followed by a boat manned with French royalists, who behaved most nobly, and the vessel was at length finally cleared, and afterwards set on fire by Lieutenant Thomas George Shortland, of the Nemesis. In the execution of this hazardous service, Mr. Wolfe was very much hurt by a soldier in a heavy wooden cradle falling from the gunwale of the hospital ship into the launch, striking him on his head, and bending him backwards with such violence, as to cause the blood to gush from every aperture in his head and body. In consequence of this accident, he was confined to his hammock for the space of two months; a circumstance, which however painful in itself, was by no means so mortifying to him as that of seeing the Lieutenant who had been sent from the Victory to command the boats promoted to the rank of Commander, whilst his own conduct and sufferings passed unrewarded.

    Subsequent to his recovery, Mr. Wolfe served on shore, under Captains Serecold, Miller, and Cooke, at the reduction of Corsica. By the latter officer he was introduced to Lord Hood, who received him very kindly, and ordered him to be removed to the Victory; in which ship he returned to England as Master’s Mate, towards the close of 1794.

    On his arrival at Portsmouth, Mr. Wolfe was advanced to the rank of Lieutenant in the Phaeton frigate, commanded by the Hon. Robert Stopford, with whom he continued about two years and nine months. In Sept. 1797, he was made a Commander, and appointed to the Sally armed ship, on the North Sea station.
    Soon after this promotion, Captain Wolfe being on a cruise off the Yorkshire coast, in a very thick fog, suddenly found himself close to a French ship, which afterwards proved to be le Republicain of 36 guns and 360 men. The Sally, originally a collier, mounted 14 old fashioned carronades (24-pounders), and had a complement of 45 men. On the fog beginning to disperse, the enemy, then within pistol-shot, was observed lowering a boat to take possession of his expected prize, whose starboard guns, loaded with two rounds of grape-shot, were instantaneously discharged into the French frigate, and with such effect as to bring down her jib and spanker, which afforded Captain Wolfe an opportunity of putting about and effecting his escape: the confusion on board le Republicain, occasioned by this unexpected salute, being so great, that by the time she had wore and come to the wind on the other tack, the Sally was at least a mile on her weather bow. Captain Wolfe’s conduct on this occasion was highly approved by the Admiralty.

    The Sally was afterwards employed affording protection to the Baltic and Hamburgh trade; and in the course of the two following years, captured several Dutch vessels, two of which were Greenlandmen.

    Captain Wolfe obtained post rank Dec. 10, 1800; and was appointed to the Galatea of 32 guns in April 1801. During the ensuing peace, we find him employed conveying troops from Guernsey and different ports in England, to Holland. His next appointment was Dec. 24, 1802, to the Aigle frigate, then recently launched; and in March following he received orders to repair to Portland, for the purpose of impressing seamen, and raising volunteers for the navy. On his arrival he communicated with the Mayor of Weymouth, and found that the sailors belonging to that neighbourhood had placed themselves under the protection of the stone quarry men, who soon proceeded to acts of violence against his own people, who after being severely handled, were obliged to retreat from the quay to their boats. Confiding in the promise of the Mayor, who had agreed to furnish a sufficient number of constables to assist him and preserve order, Captain Wolfe landed, at 4 P.M. on the 1st April, at the head of 50 seamen and marines, but had scarcely got on shore before his party were fired on by a number of sailors collected on the beach; A scuffle now ensued, and two of the rioters, named Porter and Wey, were secured, the one armed with a poker, the other with a reap-hook. The remainder of the mob retiring towards the Bill of Portland, were soon re-inforced by nearly 300 men, armed with muskets, pistols, and cutlasses, which had been plundered from the transports wrecked on that coast in 1795. This formidable body, urged on by two constables, lost no time in attacking their unwelcome visitors, 16 or 17 of whom were dreadfully wounded. At length, after the most patient forbearance on the part of Captain Wolfe, who was himself seized and cruelly treated, the marines opened their fire, killed 4 of the rioters, and obliged the remainder to retreat; which they did with so much precipitation, that only 3 could be secured.
    As soon as the Aigle’s wounded men reached their ship, Captain Wolfe despatched a Lieutenant, (the present Earl of Huntingdon) to lay a correct account of this unfortunate affair before the Admiralty, and prevent the misrepresentations with which public opinion is usually abused in like cases; but on his landing at Weymouth, that officer and Mr. Morgan, a Midshipman, were recognized by the mob, who seized them, and compelled the Mayor, by threatening worse consequences, to commit them to Dorchester gaol for the alleged murder of the unhappy men who had fallen the victims of their own disloyal conduct.
    The Coroner having returned a verdict of wilful murder against Captain Wolfe, Lieutenant Francis Hastings, Lieutenant Jefferies of the marines, and Mr. John Fortescue Morgan, the Midshipman, those gentlemen surrendered themselves for trial at the ensuing summer assizes, and after a full investigation of their conduct were fully acquitted, the jury agreeing that they had merely acted in self defence.

    In the interim, between the holding of the coroner’s inquest and his trial, Captain Wolfe went on a cruise, and was fortunate enough to intercept six homeward bound French West Indiamen. Towards the latter end of the same year, he captured, after a long chase, l’Alert privateer of 16 guns and 90 men.

    On the 12th July, 1804, the Aigle fell in with two French corvettes, proceeding from Rochefort to Bayonne, with ordnance and stores for a ship of war just launched at that port. These vessels, at first, seemed resolved to try their strength with the British frigate; but on her near approach, fired a single broadside, and ran on shore about ten leagues to the southward of Cordouan. Every effort was made by Captain Wolfe, during the ensuing night and part of the next day, to get them afloat again, but without effect; and he was at length obliged to destroy them by fire. They proved to be la Charante of twenty 6-pounders, 4 swivels, and 104 men; and la Joie of eight 12-pounders (pierced for 14 guns), 2 swivels, and 75 men. The greater part of their crews escaped to the shore; several were drowned by the swamping of the boats, owing to the heavy surf on the beach; and the remainder, amounting to 26 officers and men, were taken prisoners. In Sept. 1805, Captain Wolfe, being off Vigo, was attacked during a calm, by nine Spanish gun -boats. After an hour’s cannonade, a breeze sprung up, and enabled him to capture the Commodore’s vessel, sink another, and drive the rest on shore. The prize carried a long 24-pounder, and 29 men, 4 of whom belonged to the artillery.

    From this period, we find no particular mention of Captain Wolfe till March 1808; in the course of which month, he discovered two French frigates pushing for l’Orient, under a press of sail. The Aigle, at this time cruising near the Glenan islands, immediately went in pursuit, passing between Isle Groais and the main; and after sustaining a heavy fire from the land batteries on both sides, compelled one of the enemy’s ships to take shelter under a fort on the S.E. side of the island. The other, la Furieuse of 40 guns, was soon after brought to close action, and ultimately obliged to run ashore on Point du Chat. The Aigle, in this dashing affair, had three guns split and dismounted, a bower anchor cut in two, her masts and yards much damaged, and 22 officers and men wounded: among the former we find the names of Captain Wolfe and Lieutenant Lamb. She subsequently captured, after a long chase, les Six Freres of 18 guns, from Bourdeaux bound to the Mauritius.

    The Aigle formed part of the detachment sent from Lord Gambier’s fleet to attack a French squadron in Aix Roads, April 12, 1809; and on that occasion was the second ship which opened her fire on the enemy. After assisting at the destruction of four 2-deckers, Captain Wolfe relieved Lord Cochrane in the command of the advanced squadron, consisting of a bomb, several gun-brigs, and other small vessels; obliged the enemy to burn a frigate which had got on shore in the Charante, and the remainder of their ships to retreat up that river, after throwing overboard all their guns and stores. On this anxious and fatiguing service, he continued as long as there existed a possibility of annoying and harrassing the fugitives; the Aigle preserving her station above the Boyart shoal, although much exposed to an attack from the French gun-boats, for a period of fifteen days, during which Captain Wolfe was never once in bed.

    On the 11th Aug. following, the Aigle had 1 man killed and 4 dreadfully wounded, by the explosion of an 18-inch shell, which fell on board her when forcing the passage of the Scheldt, in company with a squadron of frigates, under the orders of Lord William Stuart.

    In Sept. 1810, Captain Wolfe being on a cruise off the Western islands, fell in with, and after a chase of one hundred and thirty-four miles, in thirteen hours, captured le Phoenix French privateer, mounting eighteen 18-pounders, with a complement of 129 men, commanded by M. Jacques Perrond, a Lieutenant in the French navy, and a Member of the Legion of Honor. In addition to the foregoing services, he appears to have taken, at different times during the war, two Prussian, three Danish, one American, one Russian, and upwards of one hundred and fifty French vessels; the latter principally coasters of from 10 to 100 tons. He was nominated a C.B. in 1815.
    Last edited by Bligh; 05-25-2019 at 13:47.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  26. #26
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    Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland.

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    Rear-Admiral
    Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland KCB (7 September 1777 – 30 November 1839) was an officer in the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He rose to the rank of rear admiral and held a number of commands. The most famous event of his career occurred when Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to him aboard HMS Bellerophon, marking the final end of the Napoleonic Wars.


    Family and early life.

    Maitland was born at Rankeilour, Fife on 7 September 1777, as the third son of Frederick Lewis Maitland (1730–1786), himself a distinguished naval officer. Several other members of Maitland's family were serving officers in the army, including his uncle, General Sir Alexander Maitland, 1st Baronet and his cousin, General Frederick Maitland (1763–1848). Having received an education at the Royal High School, Edinburgh, Maitland followed his father into the Navy, spending his first years aboard the sloop HMS Martin, under Captain George Duff, followed by a period aboard the frigate HMS Southampton with Robert Forbes. Whilst aboard Southampton, Maitland was present at the Glorious First of June in 1794.

    Promotion to lieutenant.

    Maitland was promoted to lieutenant on 3 April 1795 and appointed to HMS Andromeda. He soon moved to HMS Venerable, which was then in the North Sea, serving as the flagship of Admiral Adam Duncan. Maitland then moved to the Mediterranean in April 1797, joining the fleet under John Jervis, Lord St Vincent. Jervis appointed him to the sloop HMS Kingfisher. Maitland was part of several successful cruises, and assisted in the capturing of several privateers. He quickly became noted for his courage, and the ships' company subscribed £50 to present him with a sword. He did not spend long with Kingfisher though, as she was wrecked on 3 December 1798 as she was leaving the Tagus. Maitland had been in temporary command at the time, and received the customary court-martial. He was honourably acquitted and appointed to serve at Gibraltar as flag lieutenant to Lord St Vincent.

    A spell in captivity and first commands.

    The combined fleets of France and Spain were retiring from the Mediterranean by mid-1799, and on 7 July St Vincent ordered Maitland to go aboard the hired armed cutter Penelope with orders for her to carry out reconnaissance on the enemy fleets, as St Vincent put it, 'to go, count and dodge them'.

    When Maitland arrived however, he found the Penelope's lieutenant was sick and unable to take command. Maitland took over instead and attempted to follow his orders. He was apparently hampered by the cowardice and disobedience of the crew of the cutter, and the next day the Spanish captured Penelope and brought her into Cadiz as a prize. There Maitland met the Spanish admiral, Mazaredo. Mazeredo discovered that Maitland was Lord St Vincent's flag lieutenant. Being under an obligation to St Vincent, Mazaredo set Maitland free and returned him to Gibraltar without requesting an exchange. On his return, St Vincent promoted Maitland to commander and gave him the sloop HMS Cameleon, with the promotion being backdated to 14 June. Maitland commanded her off the coast of Egypt, under Sir Sidney Smith until the signing of the convention of al-'Arish on 24 January 1800. Maitland was sent home overland with dispatches, but quickly returned to his command. He spent the rest of 1800 aboard the Cameleon, before Lord Keith moved him to the command of the storeship HMS Wassenar. The Wassenar was at that time moored at Malta, and had been deemed unfit for service. Maitland was given permission instead to accompany the expedition to Egypt. He was appointed to command the boats that were covering the landings and acquitted himself well. He then moved to support the army's right flank during operations on 13 March, and at the Battle of Alexandria on 21 March 1801. His service was specially acknowledged by the commanders-in-chief, and he was mentioned in Sidney Smith's report. These actions caused him to be rewarded with a promotion to post rank, dated to 21 March. He temporarily took command of the 74-gun HMS Dragon, but had moved to command HMS Carrère in August. He returned with her to England, and she was paid off in October 1802.

    Further action.

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    Maitland's wife, Catherine

    Maitland married Catherine, the second daughter of Daniel Connor of Ballybricken, County Limerick, Ireland in April 1804. They had only one child, which died in infancy. By this time Maitland's patron St Vincent had been made first lord of the Admiralty. With the outbreak of war he appointed Maitland to the 38-gun HMS Loire, which Maitland sailed off the west coast of France and the north coast of Spain. Maitland spent three years with the Loire, during which time he captured or destroyed a number of privateers and coastal batteries. He was involved in a particularly heroic action on 4 June 1805 in Muros Bay, south of Cape Finisterre, for which he received the thanks of the City of London, the freedom of Cork, and a sword from the Patriotic Fund.[1] He also took part in the capture of the French frigate Libre on 24 December 1805. His next command was the 36-gun HMS Emerald, which he took up in November 1806. The service was the same as the Loire's, and Maitland continued his successes aboard her. He was at the Battle of the Basque Roads in April 1809, but due to the confusion Emerald was one of the ships that were not sent in until 12 April.

    Aboard Bellerophon.

    Maitland was given command of the 58-gun HMS Goliath between 1813 and 1814, and was sent aboard her to the Halifax and West Indian stations. He was appointed to the 98-gun HMS Boyne in November 1814 and ordered to sail to North America. Maitland spent the early part of 1815 gathering a fleet of transports and merchants in Cork harbour in preparation for crossing the Atlantic, but found himself unable to set sail due to a succession of strong westerly winds. Before he could sail, news reached England of Napoleon's escape from Elba and his return as Emperor of the French. Maitland's orders were immediately countermanded, and he was moved to the 74-gun HMS Bellerophon. He sailed aboard her from Plymouth on 24 May, under the orders of Sir Henry Hotham.

    Bellerophon was stationed off Rochefort in the Bay of Biscay, watching the French warships in the harbour. Whilst Bellerophon was off Rochefort, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. News of this reached Maitland on 28 June, followed by a letter from Bordeaux that warned him that Napoleon was planning an escape to America from the French Atlantic coast, probably from Bordeaux. Maitland believed that Rochefort was the more likely point of escape, but took the precaution of sending two smaller craft to cover other ports, one to Bordeaux, and another to Arcachon. He kept Bellerophon herself off Rochefort. Hotham was aboard HMS Superb covering Quiberon Bay, whilst a string of British frigates, corvettes, and brigs were watching all along the coast. Hotham told Maitland that should he intercept Bonaparte, he was to take the former emperor to England.

    Maitland and Napoleon.


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    Napoleon and his officers aboard the Bellerophon

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    Tumbler given to Maitland by Napoleon


    Maitland's instincts proved correct, and Napoleon arrived at Rochefort in early July. By this time, he was in an untenable position. He could no longer remain in France without risking arrest; indeed, Prussian troops had orders to capture him dead or alive. However, the Bellerophon and the rest of Hotham's fleet were blocking every port. He therefore authorised the opening of negotiations with Maitland. The negotiations opened on 10 July. Maitland refused to allow Napoleon to sail for America, but offered to take him to England instead. The negotiations went on for four days, but eventually Napoleon acquiesced. He surrendered to Maitland on 15 July and embarked on the Bellerophon with his staff and servants.

    Maitland placed his cabin at the former emperor's disposal and sailed the Bellerophon to England. She reached Torbay on 24 July, then was ordered to Plymouth, whilst a decision was made by the government over Bonaparte's fate. She sailed again on 4 August and whilst off Berry Head on 7 August, Napoleon and his staff were removed to HMS Northumberland, which conveyed him to his final exile on Saint Helena. Maitland later wrote a detailed narrative of Bonaparte's time on the Bellerophon, which he subsequently published in 1826.

    Royal duties and rise to rear admiral.

    Maitland took command of the 74-gun HMS Vengeur in October 1818, and in 1819 sailed her to South America. He took Lord George Beresford from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon in 1820, and then returned to the Mediterranean. He then carried Ferdinand I, king of the Two Sicilies from Naples to Livorno. The passage was rough and lasted seven days, but they arrived safely on 20 December. As a token of gratitude the king invested Maitland with the insignia of a knight commander of the Order of St Ferdinand and Merit, and presented him with his portrait, set with diamonds, in a gold box.
    Maitland then returned to England, and was appointed to command the 74-gun HMS Genoa, the guardship at Portsmouth. He spent three years aboard her, leaving her in August 1823. He commanded HMS Wellesley in the Mediterranean between 1827 and 1830, and was promoted to Rear Admiral of the Blue on 22 July 1830, and Rear Admiral of the Red on 10 January 1837. He had been appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) on the restructuring of the Order in 1815, and on 17 November 1830 he was advanced to Knight Commander (KCB). He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Fife on 5 March 1831.

    Indian service.

    He was admiral superintendent of the dockyard at Portsmouth between 1832 and 1837. He was appointed commander-in-chief in the East Indies and China Station in July 1837, and raised his flag in the Wellesley again. He co-operated with the army during its advance from Bombay towards Afghanistan in February 1839, and captured the town and fort of Karachi, going on to oversee the landing of troops and supplies. News then reached him of disturbances at Bushehr, so he set off to investigate. He landed Marines and evacuated the resident and his staff, without punishing the rioters. The Anglo-Indian press subsequently criticised this action as being injudiciously lenient.

    Death.

    Maitland died on 30 November 1839 whilst at sea on board the Wellesley, off Bombay. He was buried at Bombay. A monument was later erected by subscription to his memory in the cathedral.

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    St Thomas' Cathedral Mumbai.


    His wife, Lady Maitland, died in 1865 at Lindores, Fife.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Lucius Hardyman.


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    This officer is a son of the late Captain Hardyman, of Portsmouth, and a brother of Major-General Hardyman, who died in India Nov. 28, 1821. We find no mention of him previous to March 1, 1799; on which day he greatly distinguished himself as first Lieutenant of the Sybille frigate, in an action with la Forte of 52 guns, the command of which ship was afterwards conferred upon him by Vice-Admiral Rainier. His post commission bears date Jan. 27, 1800.


    La Forte was wrecked in the Red Sea about June 1801; but fortunately her crew were saved. Captain Hardyman subsequently commanded the Unicorn frigate, on the West India station, and at the reduction of Monte Video, by Rear-Admiral Stirling, and Brigadier-General Auchmuty. He also assisted at the destruction of a French squadron in Aix Roads, April 11, 1809. His next appointment was to the Armicle of 38 guns, employed cruising off the French coast.


    On the 4th May, 1801, Captain Hardyman sent .the boats of that ship, assisted by those of the Cadmus, Daring, and Monkey, to attack a number of the enemy’s armed and coasting vessels, at the isle of Rhé; thirteen of which were destroyed under a heavy fire from the batteries, and four others driven on shore.


    Captain Hardyman was nominated a C.B. in 1815. He married, Dec. 29, 1810, Charlotte, youngest daughter of the late John Travers, Esq., of Bedford Place, London.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain George Seymour.


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    Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Francis Seymour
    GCB, GCH, PC
    (17 September 1787 – 20 January 1870)

    He was a
    Royal Navy officer. After serving as a junior officer during the French Revolutionary Wars, Seymour commanded the third-rate HMS Northumberland under Admiral Sir John Duckworth at the Battle of San Domingo during the Napoleonic Wars. He also commanded the sloopHMS Kingfisher at the blockade of Rochefort and the fifth-rate HMS Pallas under Admiral Lord Gambier at the Battle of the Basque Roads. He then saw active service during the War of 1812.



    Seymour became Third Naval Lord in the Second Peel ministry and went on to be Commander-in-Chief Pacific Station. In late 1844 the French Admiral Abel Thouars entered into a confrontation with Queen Pōmare IV of Tahiti and with the English missionary and consul George Pritchard, expelling the consul and establishing a French protectorate over the territory: this matter became known as the "Pritchard Affair". Seymour handled this matter tactfully and avoided a confrontation with the French Government who had already denounced Thouars' actions. Seymour later served as Commander-in-Chief North America and West Indies Station and then as Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.


    Early career.

    Seymour was the eldest son of Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour and Anna Horatia Waldegrave (a daughter of James Waldegrave, 2nd Earl Waldegrave) and joined the Royal Navy in October 1797. He was assigned to the Royal yacht HMY Princess Augusta and then transferred to the third-rateHMS Sans Pareil in the Channel Squadron in March 1798 and to the second-rateHMS Prince of Wales in the West Indies later that year. He was present when the Batavian Republic surrendered Suriname to British forces in August 1799 during the French Revolutionary Wars and, having been promoted to midshipman, transferred to the fifth-rateHMS Acasta early in 1800. He joined the fifth-rate HMS Endymion in 1802 and then transferred to the first-rateHMS Victory, flagship of the Mediterranean Squadron, in 1803, to the fourth-rateHMS Madras in February 1804 and, having been promoted to lieutenant on 12 October 1804, to the third-rate HMS Donegal later that month. In HMS Donegal he took part in the pursuit of the French Fleet, under the command of Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, to the West Indies and back in Summer 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars before seeing action at the capture of the Spanish 100-gun Rayo in October 1805.


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    The third-rate HMS Northumberland (right), which Seymour commanded in the West Indies

    Promoted to commander on 23 January 1806, Seymour became commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Northumberland, flagship of the West Indies Squadron, in January 1806 and fought under Admiral Sir John Duckworth at the Battle of San Domingo where he was wounded off the southern coast of the French-occupied Spanish colony San Domingo in the Caribbean Sea in February 1806. He went on to be commanding officer of the sloopHMS Kingfisher and took part in the blockade of Rochefort. He became commanding officer of the sloop HMS Aurora in the Mediterranean Squadron in June 1806 and, having been promoted to captain on 29 July 1806, he was given command of the fifth-rate HMS Pallas in February 1808. In HMS Pallas he fought under Admiral Lord Gambier at the Battle of the Basque Roads in April 1809. In the summer of 1809 he was called as a witness at the Court-martial of James, Lord Gambier which assessed whether Gambier had failed to support Captain Lord Cochrane at the battle. Gambier was controversially cleared of all charges. He went on to be commanding officer of the fifth-rate HMS Manilla in September 1809.

    Seymour became commanding officer of the fifth-rate HMS Fortunée in June 1812 and of the fifth-rate HMS Leonidas in January 1813 during the War of 1812. In HMS Leonidas he captured the privateer USS Paul Jones in May 1813. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 4 June 1815. He became Serjeant-at-Arms to the House of Lords in 1818 and was given a short leave of absence to undertake a tour as commanding officer of the fifth-rate HMS Briton on "particular service" in 1827. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Guelphic Order in 1831, awarded a British knighthood on 23 March 1831 and advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order on 9 December 1834. In June 1837 he attended the funeral of King William IV, Seymour's last act as Master of the Robes to the King.

    Senior command.



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    French Admiral Abel Thouars's squadron arriving in Tahiti

    Seymour was appointed Third Naval Lord in the Second Peel ministry in September 1841. Promoted to rear admiral on 23 November 1841, he became Commander-in-Chief Pacific Station, with his flag in the third-rate HMS Collingwood, in May 1844. Later that year the French Admiral Abel Thouars entered into a confrontation with Queen Pōmare IV of Tahiti and with the English missionary and consul George Pritchard, expelling the consul and establishing a French protectorate over the territory: this matter became known as the "Pritchard Affair", a business which Seymour handled tactfully avoiding a confrontation with the French Government who had already denounced Thouars' actions. Tensions with United States were high as a result of the Oregon boundary dispute and Seymour avoided inflaming this situation in discussions over fisheries.



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    Eaton Square in London: Seymour lived at No. 115


    Promoted to vice-admiral on 27 March 1850, Seymour became Commander-in-Chief North America and West Indies Station, with his flag in the third-rate HMS Cumberland, in January 1851. He was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 6 April 1852 and became Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, with his flag in the first-rate HMS Victory in 1856. Promoted to full admiral on 14 May 1857 and advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 18 May 1860, he was appointed Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom on 16 May 1863 and Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom on 23 September 1865. Promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 20 November 1866, he died of bronchitis at his home at Eaton Square in London on 20 January 1870. Seymour's body was placed in a tomb, on which rests a recumbent marble sculpture of him by Victor Gleichen, at Holy Trinity Church in Arrow, not far from the Seymour family seat at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.

    Family.

    In March 1811 Seymour married Georgiana Mary Berkeley (a daughter of Sir George Berkeley) and they had three sons (Francis Seymour, 5th Marquess of Hertford, Vice-Admiral Henry Seymour and General Lord William Seymour) and four daughters (including Laura Williamina Seymour).
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Commander James Wooldridge.

    This is all that I could uncover about this particular Captain.


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    The Wooldridge Gold Medal 1809.


    A French Fleet of eleven sail, being blockaded by a British Fleet under Lord Gambier, in Aix Roads, an attempt was made to destroy the enemy Fleet by fire ships under the direction of Lord Cochrane. The fire

    ships were manned by volunteers from the fleet. On the night of April the 11th, 1809, Commander Wooldridge in the "Mediator" led the attack, and broke the boom placed in front of the French ships, but through his eagerness to execute his desperate undertaking in the most through manner he was blown out of his ship and terribly scorched. At daylight , seven of the French fleet were seen to be on shore, and of these, four were set on fire and destroyed. For this eminent service Commander Wooldridge was made a Post Captain, and presented with a special gold medal and chain, by the King. The Patriotic Fund also gave him a sword valued at 100 guineas, and to his Lieutenant, Clements, a sword of the value of 50 guineas.

    On the obverse of this medal is represented a fire ship breaking a boom, behind which are ships. Underneath is the date, 11th April, MDCCCIX. On the reverse is inscribed "Captain James Wooldridge led the British fire ships when four French sail of the line were burnt under their own batteries in Aix Roads." The medal is surrounded by a cable border.


    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Pitt Barnaby Greene.






    Apart from the fact that this Captain commanded the Sloop HMS Foxhound at the Basque Roads, the only further reference to him is the account below. Nothing else about his life has emerged thus far.



    While, in the early part of December, the United States' frigate Constitution, Commodore Bainbridge, and the ship-sloop Hornet, (eighteen 32-pound carronades and two long twelves,) Captain Lawrence, were waiting at St. Salvador to be joined by the Essex, an occurrence happened, which the characteristic cunning of the Americans turned greatly to their advantage.

    In the middle of November the British 20-gun post-ship (late 18-gun ship-sloop) Bonne-Citoyenne, (eighteen 32-pound carronades and two nines,) Captain Pitt Barnaby Greene, having, while coming from Rio-de-la-Plata, with half a million sterling on board, damaged herself greatly by running on shore, entered the port of St. Salvador, to land her cargo and be hove down. When the ship was keel-out, the two American ships arrived in port; and Captain Lawrence actually sent a challenge to Captain Greene, to sail out, as soon as he was ready, and fight him; Commodore Bainbridge "pledging his honour" not to interfere. The bait, however, did not take. The specie remained safe; and the American officers were obliged to content themselves with all the benefit they could reap from making a boast of the circumstance: that they did; and, to this day, the refusal of the Bonne-Citoyenne to meet the Hornet stands recorded in the American naval archives, as a proof of the former's dread, although the "superior in force", of engaging the latter.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Lieutenant John Row Morris.

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    Was made a lieutenant in May 1795. During the late war, he commanded the Insolent gun-brig, and Pioneer schooner, from which latter vessel he was promoted to his present rank of Lieutenant Commander on the 15th June, 1814. He then became an inspecting commander of the Coast-Guard.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain William Bevians.



    Son of lieutenant William Bevians, who commanded the Surprise cutter at the close of the American war, in 1783; and was drowned with his boat’s crew, and a lady passenger, in returning to the Insolente gun-brig, after receiving orders from the Prince de Bouillon, in 1801.
    Mr. William Bevians, junior; was first lieutenant of the Irresistible 74, Captain (now Sir George) Martin, at the battle off Cape St. Vincent, Feb. 14th, 1797; and obtained his present rank 8th March following. In 1801, he commanded the Earl of Oxford, hired armed ship; and in 1803, served as agent of transports, afloat. His last appointment was to the Lyra brig, of 10 guns, which vessel we find attached to the fleet under Lord Gambier at the memorable attack upon a French squadron in Aix Road, April 11th, 1809. On the following day, one of her boats was captured by two luggers, whilst employed in burning the enemy’s ships[1]. The out-pension of Greenwich Hospital was granted to Commander Bevians in April, 1823. His brother, James Montagu, is a major in the royal marines.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  33. #33
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    Captain John Joyce. [Post-Captain of 1809.]




    Son of the late Joseph Joyce, Esq., a respectable merchant at Fordingbridge, co. Hants, by Sarah, daughter of Lieutenant Archibald Daroch.

    He was born at Fordingbridge, about 1708; and he appears to have first embarked as a midshipman on board the Monmouth 64, Captain James Alms, which formed part of the squadron that sailed from Spithead, under the orders of Commodore Johnstone, Mar. 14, 1781.


    Mr. Joyce took part in the action at Porto Praya. April 16, 1781; on which occasion the Monmouth had 6 men wounded He was also present at the capture and destruction of five Dutch East Indiamen, in Saldanha bay, on the 21st July six days later.


    The Monmouth formed part of the squadron under Sir Edward Hughes, when he encountered Mons. de Suffrein, off Pondicherry, Feb. 17, 1782; but as the enemy never advanced beyond the centre of the British line, neither she, nor any other ship a-head of the Admiral, had any material share in the action.

    On the 12th April following, another engagement took place, off the island of Ceylon, in which the Monmouth lost her main and mizen-masts, had her wheel shot away, seven guns dismounted, 45 men killed, and 102 wounded. Captain Alms also received two splinter wounds in the face; two musket-balls passed through his hat, his hair was on fire, and part of his coat shot away: in this situation he was left on the quarter-deck, with only his first Lieutenant, the Master, and Mr. Joyce, every other person quartered there having been killed or wounded.

    The next battle between Sir Edward Hughes and Mons. de Suffrein, took place off Negapatnam, July 6, 1782, on which occasion the Monmouth had 12 men wounded, the greater part of them mortally. She also bore a share in the actions off Trincomalee and Cuddalore, Sept. 3, 1782, and June 20, 1783. Her loss on those occasions amounted to 2 killed and 22 wounded.


    In Jan. 1784, the Monmouth being ordered home, Mr. Joyce was transferred into the Sultan 74, bearing the flag of Sir Edward Hughes, under whom he continued to serve until that officer’s departure for Europe, when he followed Commodore Andrew Mitchell into the Defence 74, and returned to England with him towards the close of 1785.

    Joyce was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, May 13, 1793, being appointed to the Fox frigate, on the Newfoundland station, where he had previously been serving as a master’s-mate of the Stately 64.

    In the following Oct.. Lieutenant Joyce rejoined the Stately; and then into the Excellent 74, from which he was appointed to the Galatea 32, Captain Richard Keats, under whom he continued to serve for nearly three years; during which period he assisted at the capture and destruction of the following French men of war:

    La Révolutionnaire frigate, of 44 guns and 351 men, taken by Sir Edward Pellew’s squadron, Oct. 21, 1794. Le Jean Bart, corvette, of 26 guns and 187 men; and l’Expedition, of 16 guns and 120 men (formerly a British packet), taken by the Artois and Galatea, in April, 1795. L’Etoile, of 30 guns and 160 men, taken by the squadron under Sir John B. Warren, after an action with three large frigates, &c. the brunt of which was borne by the Galatea, Mar. 20, 1796. And l’Andromaque frigate, pierced for 48 guns, mounting 44, with a complement of 300 men, driven on shore by the Galatea, near Arcasson, and there completely destroyed by the Sylph brig, Aug. 23, 1796.


    In Mar. 1797, Lieutenant Joyce left the Galatea in order to join the Prince 98, flag-ship of Sir Roger Curtis, under whom he had served in the Queen Charlotte and Brunswick, during the Spanish and Russian armaments. From Oct. 1799 until the peace of Amiens, he served in the Ville de Paris, a first rate, successively bearing the flags of Earl St. Vincent and the Hon. William Cornwallis, on the Mediterranean and Channel stations. His promotion to the rank of Commander took place April 29, 1802.


    In May, 1803, Captain Joyce was appointed to the Discovery bomb, which was frequently sent to throw shells into Boulogne, Calais, and other French ports, during the time that he commanded her. His subsequent appointments were to the Dasher sloop of war.


    After making two or three trips to Gibraltar, Captain Joyce accompanied Rear-Admiral George Murray to the Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena, and Monte Video
    . The following is an extract of that officer’s official despatches, announcing the failure of the attempt to regain possession of Buenos Ayres, in July, 1807:


    “I have seen Captains Rowley and Joyce, who where landed with the seamen, and am happy to find two only are missing. The persevering conduct of Captains Rowley and Joyce, and the seamen under their command, merits the highest encomiums. They had to drag the cannon for miles through the swamps, and the men were always harnessed to them.”


    The Camel being broken up on her return from South America, Captain Joyce was then appointed to the Redpole brig, which vessel he continued to command until Aug. 1809, when he received a post-commission dated back to the 11th April preceding, as a reward for his intrepid and judicious conduct in Aix Roads, which is thus described by Captain E. P. Brenton:

    “After the daring Woolridge, in the Mediator, had broken the boom. Captain Joyce, in the Zephyr fire-ship, ran in, and when distant from one of the French ships of the line about two cables’ length, fired his trains, placed his people in the boat, himself and Mr. James Sedgwick Lean (master’s mate), only remaining on board, till the vessel was in flames fore and aft, when they jumped into the sea, and swam to the gig, which they reached with great difficulty. By this time the Zephyr was so close to the French ship, that she was kept off only by fire-booms, while the enemy cut their cables, and by that means avoided the danger. The batteries and all the ships at the same time kept up a constant and furious fire of shot, shells, grape, and musketry, but without doing any injury to Captain Joyce or his boat. The flood-tide, which ran strong, and the wind and sea being all against them, the boat was exposed to this fire; and what considerably increased their danger, was the explosion of another fire-vessel, just without them, which distinctly showed their position to the enemy.”




    In May, 1810, Joyce was appointed acting Captain of the Amazon frigate, and sent to co-operate with the Spanish patriots in harassing the French. Captain Joyce was thus employed for a period of nine months; and subsequently appointed, pro tempore, to the Manilla 36, in which frigate he conveyed Sir John Sherbrooke to his government at Halifax.


    on the 28th Jan. 1812, The Manilla cruising off the Texel, soundings by the pilots considered her nearer to Smith’s Knowl than the Dutch coast, it then blowing a gale of wind from the S.W., and the weather very thick, she struck on the Haak sands.

    At day-light on the morning of the 29th, Captain Joyce called a council of his officers, who unanimously agreed that no prospect of escape remained; a French ensign was then hoisted over the English. The Dutch succeeded in rescuing the whole of the survivors from destruction. Captain Joyce having seen every man off the wreck, then got into a boat, and was carried to the French squadron in the Texel. The next day he and his officers were landed and sent to Verdun, where they continued as prisoners until the conclusion of the war.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  34. #34
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    Captain James Caulfield.




    He was made a Lieutenant in 1795, and advanced to the rank of Commander, May 7, 1804. In 1808, we find him commanding the Thunder bomb, on the Baltic station.


    On the 9th June, Captain Caulfield got under weigh from Malmo road, with seventy homeward-bound merchantmen under his protection, and the Charger, Piercer, and Turbulent gun-brigs in company. At 5-20 P.M., just as the convoy had arrived abreast of the south end of Saltholm, the wind died away, and the Danish gun-boats, always on the alert, came out to the number of 25, and commenced an attack upon the Turbulent, Lieutenant George Wood, whose station was in the rear. As the flotilla approached, the Turbulent opened a fire from her carronades, and the Thunder threw shells and one-pound balls from her mortars; but the Charger and Piercer were at too great a distance to co-operate. At 5-40, the Turbulent’s main-top-mast fell; and she was shortly afterwards boarded.


    At 6 o’clock, having secured their prize, the Danes formed on both quarters and astern of the Thunder, and kept up, as they rapidly advanced, a very heavy fire. The British bomb then got her two long 6-pounders out of the stern ports, and returned the fire both from them and from the broadside carronades, as the latter could be brought to bear. At 10-10 P.M. finding they could not induce Captain Caulfield to haul down his colours, the enemy ceased firing, and retired with twelve or thirteen vessels, which they had been enabled to capture. We have no means of showing the loss, if any, sustained by the Thunder; but we find that, for his gallant defence, her commander received the public approbation of Sir James Saumarez, K.B.; and that the merchants at Lloyd’s, connected with the Baltic trade, presented him with 100 guineas to purchase a piece of plate.


    After the retreat of the Russian fleet into Rogerswick, Captain Caulfield was ordered to bombard that port, which he did for a fortnight, but without producing any visible effect, until one of his shells fell into a magazine, and caused a tremendous explosion. Sir James Saumarez, seeing that the strength of the place forbade a nearer approach, or more vigorous attack with his squadron, recalled the Thunder, whose destruction he supposed inevitable, unless speedily removed, the shot and shells of the enemy falling thick about her. Captain Caulfield being regardless of the signal of recall, the commander-in-chief sent an officer to desire he would move out of gun-shot; but he gallantly returned for answer, that “as he conceived his position was a good one, he hoped the Admiral would permit him to remain a little longer!”


    On the 20th and 24th April, 1809, the Thunder was employed bombarding the Regulus, a French 74, then lying aground on a shoal at the entrance of the Charente, but which ship afterwards got afloat, and made her escape to Rochefort. Although not present at the previous attack made upon the enemy’s squadron at Aix Roads, Captain Caulfield was included in the promotion that took place after Lord Gambler’s trial, and his post commission dated back to the 11th April. In the following year we find him commanding the Cornwallis frigate, and assisting at the reduction of the Isle of France.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Lieutenant Henry Wildey.


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    Obtained a lieutenant’s commission in 1797; and commanded the Whiting schooner, fitted for throwing rockets, at the attack made upon the French squadron in the road of Isle d’Aix, April 11th, 1809.

    He was advanced to the rank of Commander on the 3d May, 1810.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Master's Mate Edward Tapley.





    On 1 January 1809 Nimrod was under the command of Master's Mate Edward Tapley and shared in the proceeds of the recapture of the ship Crawford by Amazon.



    In April 1809 Tapley served at the Battle of the Basque Roads.

    William Congreve, who had arrived with a transport, fitted Whiting, Nimrod and the other hired armed cutter, King George, with rockets. On 11 April the three vessels took up a position near the Boyard Shoal (see Fort Boyard) while fireships made a night attack on the French ships. The next day all three, together with a number of other vessels, opened fire upon Océan, Régulus, and the frigate Indienne, as those ships lay aground. The first two eventually escaped, and the last was one of four eventually destroyed, though by her own crew some days later to avoid capture.

    In 1847 the surviving members of the crews of all the British vessels at the battle qualified for the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Basque Roads 1809".

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    On 9 November 1809 Nimrod and the hired armed cutter Adrian were among the vessels that shared in Snapper's capture of the French brig Modeste. Around the end of December, Nimrod, under the command of Tapley, recaptured the ship Elshon.
    Last edited by Bligh; 06-15-2019 at 02:42.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Admiral Lord Gambier.


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    Born the second son of John Gambier, the Lieutenant Governor of the Bahamas and Deborah Stiles, a Bermudian, Gambier was brought up in England by his aunt, Margaret Gambier, and her husband, Admiral Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham. He was a nephew of Vice-Admiral James Gambier and of Admiral Lord Barham and became an uncle of the novelist and travel writer Georgiana Chatterton.

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    The third-rate HMS Defence, commanded by Gambier, at the Glorious First of June in 1794

    Gambier entered the Navy in 1767 as a midshipman on board the third-rateHMS Yarmouth, commanded by his uncle, which was serving as a guardship in the Medway, and followed him to serve on board the 60-gun fourth-rateHMS Salisbury in 1769 where he served on the North American Station. He transferred to the 50-gun fourth-rate HMS Chatham under Rear Admiral Parry, in 1772, in the Leeward Islands. Gambier was placed on the sloopHMS Spy and was then posted to England to serve on the 74-gun third-rate HMS Royal Oak, a guardship at Spithead. He was commissioned as a lieutenant on 12 February 1777, in which rank he served successively in the sloop Shark, the 24-gun frigateHMS Hind, the third-rate HMS Sultan under Vice-Admiral Lord Shuldham, and then in HMS Ardent under his uncle's flag. Lord Howe promoted Gambier to commander on 9 March 1778 and gave him command of the bomb shipHMS Thunder, which was promptly dismasted and surrendered to the French. He was taken prisoner for a short period and, after having been exchanged, he was made a post captain on 9 October 1778 and appointed to the 32-gun fifth-rateHMS Raleigh and saw action at the capture of Charleston in May 1780 during the American Revolutionary War. He was appointed commander of fifth-rate HMS Endymion, cruising in British waters, later in the year. In 1783, at the end of the War, he was placed on half-pay.

    In February 1793 following the start of the French Revolutionary Wars, Gambier was appointed to command the 74-gun third-rate HMS Defence under Lord Howe. By faith an evangelical, he was regarded as an intensely religious man, nicknamed Dismal Jimmy, by the men under his command. As captain of the Defence Gambier saw action at the battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794, gaining the distinction of commanding the first ship to break through the enemy line and subsequently receiving the Naval Gold Medal.

    Senior command.


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    Gambier commanded the British fleet during the bombardment of Copenhagen

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    Iver Grove, Gambier's home in Buckinghamshire

    Gambier was appointed to the Board of Admiralty led by Earl Spencer in March 1795. Promoted to rear-admiral on 1 June 1795, he became First Naval Lord in November 1795. Promoted to vice-admiral on 14 February 1799, Gambier left the Admiralty after the fall of the first Pitt ministry in February 1801 and became third-in-command of the Channel Fleet under Admiral William Cornwallis, with his flag in the 98-gun second-rateHMS Neptune. He went on to be governor and commander-in-chief of Newfoundland Station in March 1802. In that capacity he gave property rights over arable land to local people allowing them to graze sheep and cattle there and also ensured that vacant properties along the shore could be leased to local people. It was around that time that he also bought Iver Grove in Buckinghamshire.

    Gambier then returned to the Admiralty as a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and First Naval Lord on the Admiralty Board led by Viscount Melville when the second Pitt ministry was formed in May 1804. Promoted to full admiral on 9 November 1805, Gambier left the Admiralty in February 1806. He returned briefly for a third tour as First Naval Lord on the Admiralty Board led by Lord Mulgrave when the Second Portland Ministry was formed in April 1807.

    In May 1807 Gambier volunteered to command the naval forces, with his flag in the second-rate HMS Prince of Wales, sent as part of the campaign against Copenhagen during the Napoleonic Wars. Together with General Lord Cathcart, he oversaw the bombardment of Copenhagen from 2 September until the Danes capitulated after three days (an incident that brought Gambier some notoriety in that the assault included a bombardment of the civilian quarter). Prizes included eighteen ships of the line, twenty-one frigates and brigs and twenty-five gunboats together with a large quantity of naval stores for which he received official thanks from Parliament, and on 3 November 1807 a peerage, becoming Baron Gambier, of Iver in the County of Buckingham.

    Battle of the Basque Roads.

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    Destruction of the French fleet at the Battle of the Basque Roads

    In 1808 Gambier was appointed to command the Channel Fleet. In April 1809 he chased a squadron of French ships that had escaped from Brest into the Basque Roads. He called a council of war in which Lord Cochrane was given command of the inshore squadron, and who subsequently led the attack. Gambier refused to commit the Channel Fleet after Cochrane's attack, using explosion vessels that encouraged the French squadron to warp further into the shallows of the estuary. This action resulted in the majority of the French fleet running aground at Rochefort.


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    A satirical print depicting Gambier and Cochrane during the Battle of Basque Roads; Gambier is shown reading the Bible, ignoring Cochrane's request to pursue the French fleet

    Gambier was content with the blockading role played by the offshore squadron. Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey, who had commanded "Fighting Temeraire" at the Battle of Trafalgar, believed they had missed an opportunity to inflict further damage upon the French fleet. He told Gambier "I never saw a man so unfit for the command of a fleet as Your Lordship." Cochrane threatened to use his parliamentary vote against Gambier in retaliation for not committing the fleet to action. Gambier called for a court martial to examine his conduct. The court martial, on 26 July 1809 on Gladiator in Portsmouth, exonerated Gambier. Consequently, neither Harvey nor Cochrane were appointed by the Admiralty to command for the remainder of the war. The episode had political and personal overtones. Gambier was connected by family and politics to the Tory prime minister William Pitt. In Parliament, Cochrane represented the constituency of Westminster, which tended to vote Radical. In the aftermath of Basque Roads, Cochrane and Gambier quarreled and Gambier resentfully excluded Cochrane from the battle dispatches. There is little wonder that Cochrane took the unusual move of standing in opposition to parliament's pro forma vote of thanks to Gambier.

    Later career.

    In 1814 Gambier was part of the team negotiating the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 7 June 1815. Promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 22 July 1830, he died at his home, Iver Grove in Buckinghamshire, on 19 April 1833 and was buried at St. Peter's churchyard in Iver.



    Last edited by Bligh; 06-28-2019 at 02:11.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Admiral Sir Harry Burrard-Neale, 2nd Baronet GCBGCMG .


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    (born Burrard; 16 September 1765 – 7 February 1840) was a
    British officer of the Royal Navy, and Member of Parliament for Lymington.
    He was the son of William Burrard, the governor of
    Yarmouth Castle on the Isle of Wight, and nephew of Sir Harry Burrard, 1st Baronet, of Walhampton, whom he succeeded in 1791. In 1795, he adopted the additional name of Neale on his marriage to Grace, daughter of Robert Neale of Shaw House, Wiltshire. He died without issue in 1840 and was succeeded by his brother George.


    Naval career.

    Educated at Christchurch Grammar School, Burrard joined the
    Royal Navy in 1778. He was present at the Siege of Charleston in 1780.

    Burrard distinguished himself during the
    Mutiny at the Nore in 1797. He was one of the Lords of the Admiralty between 1804 and 1807, and was promoted to rear-admiral on 31 July 1810. He was engaged at the Action of 13 March 1806 in HMS London. He was invested as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815, and advanced to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 14 September 1822.

    He became
    Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet in 1823, which led to his appointment as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George the following year.

    In the summer of 1809 he was called as a witness at the
    Court-martial of James, Lord Gambier which assessed whether Admiral Lord Gambier had failed to support Captain Lord Cochrane at the Battle of Basque Roads in April 1809. Gambier was controversially cleared of all charges.

    Political career.

    He was Member of Parliament for Lymington between 1790 and 1802, 1806 to 1807, 1812 to 1823 and 1832 to 1835. He was a
    Groom of the Bedchamber to King George III from 1801 to 1812, continuing afterwards at Windsor from 1812 to 1820 during the Regency.

    He died at age 74 and was buried in Lymington Church,
    Lymington, Hampshire, England.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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