Nominal Guns14BWAS-1793
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
CategoryHired VesselBWAS-1793
Ship TypeBrig BWAS-1793
Last known12.2.1801BWAS-1793


18.3.1798Broadside Weight = 132 Imperial Pound ( 59.862 kg)W005
Gun Deck14 British 18-Pound Carronade
Gun Deck2 British 6-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource

2 Commanding Officers

18.3.1799 - 10.1799LieutenantJames Andrew Worth (d.1841)W00510.1799 - 1800LieutenantNicholas Caesar CorsellisSNL1799

Service History


Sent in a smuggling cutter to Plymouth, taken off the Lizard with 300 ankers of spirits


Sailed from Plymouth

18.3.1799Telegraph vs Hirondelle
18.3.1799Took the Brig L'Hirondelle (16) TNC

Arrived at Plymouth with her prize <em>L'Hirondelle</em>


Sailed from Plymouth for Falmouth


Arrived at Plymouth


Sailed from Plymouth with dispatches

5.5.1799Joined company with Earl St. Vincent's fleet in the West IndiesW005

Notes on Ship

Action against the HirondelleW005
On the 18th of March, at daylight, the Isle of Bas bearing south-east distant nine leagues, the British hired the armed brig Telegraph, of 14 carronades, 18-pounders, and two long sixes, with 60 men and boys, commanded by Lieutenant James Andrew Worth, discovered about two miles on her lee bow, the French privateer-brig Hirondelle, of 16 guns (8 and 6 pounders) and 72 men on board, out of a complement of 89. The Hirondelle immediately tacked, and stood towards the Telegraph. At 7h 30m a.m., the two brigs, having got close alongside each other, commenced a spirited cannonade. During the progress of the action, each vessel vainly tried, several times, to board the other. At length, after the struggle had continued three hours and a half, and when, having had all her rigging shot away, she was in an unmanageable state, the Hirondelle struck her colours.

The Telegraph had five men wounded: the Hirondelle five killed and 14 wounded. In this close engagement the carronades of the Telegragh produced their full effect, and Lieutenant Worth, who was promoted to the rank of commander on the occasion, Mr. George Gibbs, the master, and the remainder of the British officers and crew, conducted themselves in a very creditable manner; nor, considering the obstinate defence they made, can much loss be said of the officers and men of the Hirondelle.


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian Stephens on Wednesday 2nd of April 2014 02:01

American and Daily Advertiser,
June 10, 1799 p.2
Engagment between the Telegraph and a French Privateer.
Advice was this day received from Torbay, of the arrival there last evening of the Telegraph armed ship of 16 guns. commanded by Lieutant A. S. Worth, and with her a large French brig. privateer which she captured the 18th inst. after a very gallant action.

The particulars we have been able to collect are as follows:

The Telegraph sailed hence on a cruze the 9th inst. and being off the Isle of Bas, the 18th following, discovered a strange sail, to which they gave chase, and by superior sailing, soon got so near as to discover her to be an enemy, and to bring her to close action. The contest lasted four hours before the Frenchman hauled down her colours; on boarding her she proved to be, the Swallow of St. Maloe's (Swallow in French is Hirondell) commanded by citizen La Porte, mounting 14 six and 9 pounders, and had on board 67 men; she had been at sea three days, and captured, thye 17th inst. at 2 P. M. about 10 leagues, S. E. of Guernsey , the American ship Mary, of Norfolk, Capt. Farrell, laden with sundries bound from Guernsy to Africa, which see sent off for France. The Swallow captured also, on the evening of the 17th, a cutter from Jersey, bound to Bristol, laden with wine, brandy, etc. which cutter has been since retaken by the Sea-gull, of 18 guns, Capt. Wray. The action between the Telegraph and the Swallow was fought so close during the four hours, that they could hear and distinguish conversation on board each vessel. The Swallow would have been carried much sooner, had the sea not run so high as to prevent the crew of the Telegraph from boarding her. The privateer had two men killed and four wounded and her masts and rigging cut to pieces, the firing from the Telegraph being directed very high, to prevent her getting off. The Telegraph had only three men wounded, one of them the masters mate, and the vessel has some damage in her hull and rigging. A gentleman captured in the Mary, and who was on board the Swallow, while engaged with the Telegraph, speaks in the highest terms of Capt. Worth's gallant conduct, having observed during the whole of the action, stationed in a very exposed part of the ship , encouraging and animating his crew with the prospect of victory. The Swallow is said to be a very beautiful well equipped brig. and fitted out for a long cruize. Both vessels are hourly expected to arrive at this port, as the Telegraph is the property of Mr. Thomas Lockyer, of this place, merchant of whom she is hired of government.

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