Nominal Guns32BWAS-1793
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down7.1796BWAS-1793
How acquiredBuilt by ContractBWAS-1793
ShipyardMistley - Essex BWAS-1793
Ship ClassAmphion ClassBWAS-1793
Designed by William Rule (d.1816)BWAS-1793
Constructor James BettsBWAS-1793
CategoryFifth RateBWAS-1793
Ship TypeFrigate BWAS-1793
Sailing RigShip RiggedBWAS-1793
Sunk as Breakwater11.1820BWAS-1793


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1793
Length of Gundeck144' 0 ½"Imperial Feet43.9039 
Length of Keel121' 6 ⅞"Imperial Feet36.903 
Breadth37' 7 ¼"Imperial Feet11.284 
Depth in Hold12' 6"Imperial Feet3.7338 
Burthen914 4094Tons BM 


5.1798Broadside Weight = 324 Imperial Pound ( 146.934 kg)BWAS-1793
Gun Deck26 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck4 British 24-Pounder
Quarterdeck4 British 6-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 24-Pound Carronade
Forecastle2 British 6-Pounder

1802Broadside Weight = 24 Imperial Pound ( 10.884 kg)BWAS-1793
Forecastle2 British 24-Pound Carronade

5.1802Broadside Weight = 360 Imperial Pound ( 163.26 kg)BWAS-1793
Gun Deck26 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck8 British 24-Pound Carronade
Quarterdeck2 British 6-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 24-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource

9 Ship Commanders

5.1798 - 1801Captain Richard Henry Alexander BennetBWAS-17935.1802 - 9.1802Captain Alexander Fraser (d.1829)BWAS-17931.10.1802 - 30.7.1803Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy (1769-1839)BWAS-179330.7.1803 - 13.10.1805Captain Samuel SuttonBWAS-179313.10.1805 - 4.1812Captain William HosteBWAS-17935.1813 - 1815Captain James Pattison StewartBWAS-17931815 - 10.1815Captain John Brett PurvisBWAS-179310.1815 - 10.1818Captain William Bowles (1780-1869)BWAS-179321.10.1818 - 1819Captain William Bateman DashwoodBWAS-1793

1 Flag Officer

23.5.1803 - 30.7.1803Vice-Admiral of the BlueLord Horatio Nelson (1st Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough) (1758-1805)BWAS-1793

4 Commissioned Officers

3.1810 - 14.3.1811Second Lieutenant Donat Henry O'Brien (1785-?)NBD184917.9.1811 - 23.10.1811Lieutenant Robert Kingston (d.1851)NBD18495.1813 - 3.1814Lieutenant William Bridges Champion (d.1814)BWAS-17933.10.1815 - 4.1816Lieutenant William Bohun Bowyer (1789-?)NBD1849

1 Warrant Officer

30.11.1804 - 20.11.1805Master Charles Mason White (1772-1850)ADM 29-1

13 Petty Officers

3.1798 - 1801Midshipman Thomas Bennett (1785-?)NBD18492.1802 - 2.1803Master's Mate Donat Henry O'Brien (1785-?)NBD18491803Midshipman John Bingham (1785-?)NBD18495.1803 - 30.7.1803Midshipman George Brown (1784-?)NBD18498.1803 - 1805Midshipman Benjamin Baynton (1789-1854)NBD18491804 - 1807Midshipman William BranderNBD184910.1805 - 10.1.1811Midshipman Thomas BoardmanNBD18499.1807 - 11.1810Midshipman Charles Bruce (d.1843)NBD184911.11.1807 - 8.1811Midshipman Charles Henry Kempthorne (1792-?)NBD184910.1808 - 3.1809Master's Mate Donat Henry O'Brien (1785-?)NBD18496.1811 - 17.9.1811Midshipman Robert Kingston (d.1851)NBD18491814 - 1815Midshipman Wheatley Byass (1796-?)NBD18491818 - 1.1820Midshipman Alexander BrownNBD1849

Service History

19.3.1798Began fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1793
6.7.1798Completed fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £7709.0.0dBWAS-1793
20.12.1798Sailed for Africa and thence to JamaicaBWAS-1793
25.11.1799Took the Privateer Asturias (24) BG
11.1801Began refitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1793
1.1802Completed refitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £8091.0.0dBWAS-1793
1.10.1802Appointed to take Lord Fitzgerald as Ambassador to PortugalBWAS-1793
25.10.1802Sailed for LisbonBWAS-1793
25.11.1802Arrived in LisbonBWAS-1793
23.1.1803Ordered to be paid off and recommissionedSOTON
11.3.1803Sailed for Cork to obtain more seamenSOTON
23.5.1803Sailed for the Mediterranean as flagship of Lord Horatio Nelson (1st Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough) (1758-1805)
3.6.1803Arrived in GibraltarSOTON
15.6.1803Arrived at MaltaSOTON
20.6.1803Passed the Faro of MessinaSOTON
7.7.1803Joined the Mediterranean fleet off ToulonSOTON
30.7.1803Victory (100) arrived and Nelson transfered to her, taking captain Thomas Masterman Hardy with him
5.10.1804In company with Indefatigable (64) , Lively (38) engaged and took four Spanish frigates at the 3rd Battle of Cape St Vincent
5.10.1804Battle of Cape St Maria
13.10.1805Joined the fleet at Lisbon where captain Samuel Sutton was replaced due to ill health
15.10.1805Sailed to transfer bullion from the Royal Sovereign (100) to the Aurora (28) at Gibraltar, then sailed on a diplomatic mission to Algiers
25.10.1805Arrived off AlgiersSOTON
28.10.1805Left Algiers after delivering letters from Horatio Nelson and taking some live bullocks on board
9.11.1805Arrived at GibraltarSOTON
3.1806Detached to join Sir Sidney Smith's squadron guarding Sicily
5.1806Arrived off SicilySOTON
6.1806Amphion's boats stormed a castle at Cirello in CalbriaSOTON
1.7.1806Covered the British landings that lead to the battle of Maida on the 4th JulySOTON
14.7.1806In company with Crafty (12) landed troops of the 78th Regiment to attack two French bases at Cantazaro and Crotone
26.7.1806Amphion fired on French reinforcments marching on the coast road from CantazaroSOTON
4.8.1806Returned to PalermoSOTON
12.5.1808Attacked and drove ashore the Storeship Baleine in the Bay of Rosas on the Franco - Spanish borderTODO
7.11.1808Joined the blockade of TriesteSOTON
8.11.1808Rescued two British naval officers who had escaped imprisonment in FranceSOTON
2.1809Returned to the Adriatic after a refit at MaltaSOTON
8.2.1809Boats landed on the island of Meleda and destroyed storesSOTON
8.2.1809Boats landed on the island of Meleda and destroyed stores, Cutting out a Brig and a TrabaccolaBWAS-1793
8.2.1809Action of 1809-02-08
23.4.1809Bombardment of Pesaro
27.8.1809Boats from the Amphion stormed a fort at the mouth of the Piave river, and took prize 6 gunboats (See notes)BWAS-1793
1810Returned to Malta for a refitSOTON
3.1810Left Malta as flagship of a squadron to be based at Lissa
28.6.1810Boats from the squadron attacked the forts defending the harbour of Grao, taking fourteen merchant vessels prize and burning a further elevenBWAS-1793
28.6.1810Boats from the squadron attacked the forts defending the harbour of Grao, taking five merchant vesselsSOTON
6.10.1810Sighted a Franco-Venetian squadron and were pursued near AnconaSOTON
20.10.1810Returned to Ancona with the full squadron, but the harbour was emptySOTON
30.10.1810Aphion was in collision with Volage (22) , both ships returned to Malta for repairs
2.1811Returned to the AdriaticSOTON
13.3.1811British flagship at the Battle of LissaTRN5
13.3.1811Battle of Lissa
25.3.1811The squadron and their prizes left Lissa for MaltaSOTON
31.3.1811Arrived at MaltaSOTON
2.4.1811Sailed for England in company with Volage (22) and the prize shipsTRN5
11.7.1811Arrived off the Needles, then sailed to Greenwich, paid off and laid up for repairsSOTON
4.1812Began large repair at Deptford Dockyard - Deptford BWAS-1793
5.1813Recommissioned for the North SeaBWAS-1793
6.1813Completed large repair at Deptford Dockyard - Deptford BWAS-1793
8.12.1813Amphion's crew occupied the island of SchowenSOTON
9.12.1813Boats from the Amphion captured a Frnech battery on TholenSOTON
16.3.1814Amphion's boat attacked some vessels in the West Scheldt. Lieutenant William Brydges Champion was mortally woundedTODO
10.1815Part of a convoy escort from Cork to BermudaSOTON
1818Part of a convoy escort In the BrazilsSOTON
21.10.1818William Bateman Dashwood was posted out of the Creole (36) to return Amphion to EnglandTRN5
1819Paid off (early in the year)BWAS-1793
11.1820Sunk as Breakwater at WoolwichBWAS-1793
10.1822Fitted for distressed seamen at Deptford (is date meant ot by 1820/10?)BWAS-1793
9.1823Remains sold to Joliffe and Banks for £168BWAS-1793

Notes on Ship

Some additional notesBWAS-1793

The prizes taken on the 27 August 1809 were the Venetian gunboats Surveillante and Vedette, mounting one long 26-pounder in the bow, one long 12-pounder in the stern and four swivels. as well as gunboats numbered 64, 76, 77 and 78 all mounting a single 12-pounder. In addition two Trabaccolos were taken and five burnt. First Lieutenant Charles George Phillot was promoted to commander dated from the day of the action, Lieutenant George Matttew Jones being promoted to first lieutenant.

At the Battle of Lissa the Amphion had 15 killed, including midshipmen Spearman and Hayes and the boatswain, Richard Unthank and 47 wounded, including captain William Hoste and the first lieutenant David Dunn

An Epitaph to William Brydges Champion was rasied in the Scheld, the text reads

Here lies the body of William Brydges Champion
first lieutenant of His Britannic Majesty’s frigate Amphion
(commanded by captain James Pattison Stewart)
one of th


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Stephen Plowman on Monday 16th of March 2020 11:13

One typo; William Hoste took command 13.10.1805.

The details of the attack on Crotone (formerly Cotrone) are in the London Gazette 5th September 1806.
My ggg grandfather, Henry Plowman, was the Amphion’s surgeon from 5 Sept 1805 to 30 Nov 1807. I wonder how he and the crew felt about missing the Battle of Trafalgar because of their mission to Algiers.

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