Bellerophon -> 1824 Captivity

Billy Ruffian
Nominal Guns74B028
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down5.1782BWAS-1793
First Commissioned7.1790B028
How acquiredBuilt by ContractB028
ShipyardQuarry House Yard - Frindsbury B028
Designed bySir Thomas Slade (1703-1771)BWAS-1793
ConstructorEdward GreavesBWAS-1793
CategoryThird RateB028
Ship TypeShip of the Line B028
Sailing RigShip RiggedB028


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1793
Length of Gundeck168' 0"Imperial Feet51.2064 
Length of Keel138' 0"Imperial Feet42.0624 
Breadth46' 10 ½"Imperial Feet14.0335 
Depth in Hold19' 9"Imperial Feet5.8166 
Burthen1,612 7894Tons BM 


6.10.1786Broadside Weight = 781 Imperial Pound ( 354.1835 kg)BWAS-1793
Lower Gun Deck28 British 32-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck28 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck14 British 9-Pounder
Forecastle4 British 9-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
25.8.1774550Design Complement

17 Commanding Officers

17.7.1790 - 9.9.1791CaptainThomas Pasley (1734-1808) ADM 6/24/51BWAS-179311.9.1793 - 9.1.1794CommodoreThomas Pasley (1734-1808)ref:6769.1.1794 - 16.10.1794CaptainWilliam Johnstone Hope (1766-1831) ADM 6/24/3BWAS-179316.10.1794 - 5.1796CaptainJames Cranstoun (d.1797) ADM 6/25/96BWAS-17935.1796 - 10.1796Acting CaptainJohn Wentworth Loring (1775-1852)BWAS-179310.1796 - 1799CaptainHenry d'Esterre DarbyBWAS-179312.1801 - 1803CaptainJohn Wentworth Loring (1775-1852)BWAS-17935.1804 - 21.10.1805CaptainJohn Cooke (1762-1805)BWAS-179322.10.1805 - 3.11.1805LieutenantWilliam Pryce Cumby (1771-1837)E-WIKI3.11.1805 - 4.11.1805CaptainRichard ThomasBWAS-17934.11.1805 - 8.6.1808CaptainEdward Rotherham (1753-1830)BWAS-17938.6.1808 - 8.1810CaptainSamuel Warren (d.1839)BWAS-17938.1810 - 6.1811CaptainLucius Ferdinand Hardyman (1771-1734)BWAS-17936.1811 - 2.1813CaptainJohn HalsteadBWAS-17932.1813 - 3.1813CaptainAugustus Brine (1769-1840)BWAS-17933.1813 - 3.1814CaptainEdward Hawker (d.1860)BWAS-17933.1814 - 1815CaptainFrederick Lewis Maitland (1777-1839)BWAS-1793

7 Flag Officers

9.1.1794 - 11.4.1794CommodoreThomas Pasley (1734-1808) ADM 6/25/3ADM 6/2512.4.1794 - 1.6.1796Rear-Admiral of the WhiteThomas Pasley (1734-1808)BWAS-17934.1802 - 1803Rear-Admiral of the Red John Thomas Duckworth (1748-1817)BWAS-17931807Rear-Admiral of the RedAlbemarle Bertie (1755-1824)BWAS-17936.1808 - 1808Admiral of the RedLord Alan Gardner (1st Baron Gardner of Uttoxeter) (1742-1809)BWAS-17931812Rear-Admiral of the RedJohn Ferrier (d.1836)BWAS-17933.1813 - 1814Vice-Admiral of the Blue Richard Goodwin Keats (1757-1834)BWAS-1793

19 Commissioned Officers

9.1796 - 1800SurgeonGeorge Bellamy (1773-1863)ref:8471798 - 1.8.1798LieutenantGeorge Jolliffe (d.1798)TNC1798 - 1.8.1798LieutenantPhilip Watson Launder (d.1798)TNC1798 - 1.8.1798First LieutenantRobert Savage Daniel (1760-1798)NBD18491799 - 30.5.1800Acting LieutenantDavid BoydNBD184929.4.1802 - 10.1802LieutenantGeorge William BrownNBD184916.10.1804 - 1805LieutenantDavid ScottNAO3.11.1804 - 21.10.1805First LieutenantWilliam Pryce Cumby (1771-1837)NAO1805LieutenantEdmund Fanning ThomasNAO1805LieutenantGeorge SaundersNAO20.8.1805 - 1806LieutenantJohn Allen DouglassNAO24.12.1805 - 1805LieutenantEdward Hartley (c.1777-?)ref:9052.6.1808 - 7.7.1809LieutenantCharles Allen (1779-1853)NL18656.1810 - 7.10.1810Flag LieutenantGeorge Bentham (1787-?)NBD18493.2.1813 - 21.4.1813LieutenantCharles Cumby (1779-?)NBD18498.3.1813 - 2.4.1814LieutenantCharles Orlando Bridgeman (1791-?)NBD18491814 - 13.9.1815LieutenantJohn BowerbankNBD18494.6.1815 - 9.1815First LieutenantWilliam Walford (1787-1859)NBD18493.8.1836 - 1.4.1841LieutenantJames CampbellNBD1849

10 Warrant Officers

10.1786 - 1786CookMichael HoganB16110.1786 - 1786PurserAaron GrahamB16110.1786 - 1786GunnerJohn HindmarshB16110.1786 - 1786CarpenterThomas WatkinsB16110.1786 - 1786BoatswainRobert RobertsB16120.7.1790 - 7.11.1791BoatswainWilliam CunninghamADM29-16.1794 - 7.1795MasterSamuel Blyth (1783-1813)N-GAZ15.10.1804 - 2.11.1805BoatswainThomas Robinson (d.1805)NAO1805SurgeonAlexander WhiteNAO1805 - 21.10.1805MasterEdward Overton (d.1805)NAO

28 Petty Officers

1789 - 19.10.1790MidshipmanHenry Digby (1770-1842)ref:6161793 - 1795MidshipmanMathew Flinders (1774-1814)NMM1794MidshipmanJames WoodADM 171/81794Quarter GunnerJohn WitteyADM 171/81794MidshipmanWilliam ReikieADM 171/81794MidshipmanRobert Ramsay (1773-?)ADM 171/81795MidshipmanAlexander Garthshore Stirling (1773-1852)ADM 171/81795MidshipmanManley Hall Dixon (1786-1864)ADM 171/810.1796 - 5.1800MidshipmanLeslie BouldersonNBD18498.8.1804 - 24.10.1807MidshipmanJohn Franklin (1786-1848)NAO11.10.1804 - 8.1807MidshipmanWilliam Walford (1787-1859)NAO5.11.1804 - 1805MidshipmanWilliam Nunn Jewell (d.1847)NAO16.11.1804 - 1805MidshipmanRobert PattonNAO25.11.1804 - 1805MidshipmanJohn White (1782-?)NAO1805MidshipmanHenry Walker (1786-?)NAO1805MidshipmanDaniel Charles (1779-?)NAO1805MidshipmanJames Campbell (1785-?)NAO1805 - 23.12.1805Master's MateEdward Hartley (c.1777-?)NAO3.1.1805 - 1805MidshipmanWilliam Sanders (1788-?)NAO2.3.1805 - 1805MidshipmanHugh Patton (1789-?)NAO25.4.1805 - 24.10.1807MidshipmanWilliam Fairweather (1762-?)NAO28.4.1805 - 1805MidshipmanThomas Bant (1786-?)NAO28.4.1805 - 1805MidshipmanMark White (1788-?)NAO1.5.1805 - 21.10.1805MidshipmanJohn Simmons (1784-1805)NAO12.1808 - 7.1810MidshipmanJosiah OakeNBD18491812MidshipmanJames BurneyNBD18492.1813 - 29.7.1814MidshipmanJohn Kiddle (d.1851)NBD18494.1814 - 1.1815MidshipmanEdward Belcher (1799-?)NBD1849

23 Crewmen

10.9.1791 - 9.17911st Class VolunteerThomas Briggs (1780-1852)NBD184925.4.1793 - 27.12.1794Able SeamanAndrew King (1774-1835)NAO1794LandmanJohn BaileyADM 171/81794Ordinary SeamanJohn PardyADM 171/81794Ordinary SeamanJames McLaughlanADM 171/81794Ordinary SeamanJames MaitlandADM 171/81794ServantJohn HindmarshADM 171/81794Able SeamanWilliam WilliamsADM 171/81794Ordinary SeamanJohn WebbADM 171/81794Able SeamanFrancis EgglistoneADM 171/81794Ordinary SeamanWilliam WattsADM 171/81794LandmanRichard BennillADM 171/81794Ordinary SeamanThomas TuckerADM 171/81794LandmanRichard BakerADM 171/81794LandmanPeter ParkesADM 171/81794 - 1795Carpenter's CrewJohn GaleADM 171/81795VolunteerJohn HindmarshADM 171/810.9.1796 - 10.1796Able SeamanLeslie BouldersonNBD184914.11.1804 - 24.4.1805Able SeamanWilliam Fairweather (1762-?)NAO16.11.1804 - 1.3.18051st Class VolunteerHugh Patton (1789-?)NAO30.4.1805 - 1.5.1805Able SeamanJohn Simmons (1784-1805)NAO1.5.1805 - 18051st Class VolunteerGeorge Pearson (1792-?)NAO2.11.1807 - 9.1809Ordinary SeamanArchibald CampbellNBD1849

1 Marine

1794 - 1795PrivateJohn HattonADM 171/8

Service History

1787Began fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
3.1787Completed at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £30232.14.4dBWAS-1714
3.1787Completed fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £8378.15.2dBWAS-1714
7.3.1787Docked at Chatham to be copperedB161
20.3.1787Launched from the dock coppered and fitted for ordinary at a cost of £3,389.8.7d for hull masts and yards and £4,987.6.7d for rigging and storesB161
5.1790Began fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
7.1790Commissioned for the Spanish ArmamentBWAS-1793
8.1790Completed fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £4620.8.4dBWAS-1714
15.8.1790Left Chatham having been fitted for sea at a total cost of £4,620.8.4dB161
21.11.1790Arrived at Sheerness to be "Taken in hand Mar & Completed"B161
20.4.1791Left Sheerness, the work having cost £1,828 (£1,733 for rigging and stores)B161

Paid off

26.4.1793Fitted at Chatham at a cost of £4,164BWAS-1793
1.6.1794Glorious 1st of June
16.6.1795First Battle of Groix
10.1795Began repairs at PortsmouthBWAS-1793
11.1795Completed repairs at a cost of £8,103BWAS-1793
1.8.1798Battle of the Nile
9.1800Began a middling repair and refit at PortsmouthBWAS-1793
8.1801Completed middling repair and refit at a cost of £32,608BWAS-1793
4.1802Sailed for JamaicaBWAS-1793
24.7.1803Took the Ship of the Line Le Duquesne (74) off San Domingo
25.7.1803Capture of the Duquesne
25.7.1803Took the Corvette L'Oiseau (16) off San Domingo
30.11.1803Present at the surrender of the French squadron at Cap FrancoisBWAS-1793
9.1804Began a refit at PortsmouthBWAS-1793
11.1804Completed refit at a cost of £11,914BWAS-1793
21.10.1805Battle of Trafalgar
12.1805Started repairs for defects at PlymouthBWAS-1793
2.1806Completed repairs at a cost of £18,082BWAS-1793
1808In the BalticBWAS-1793
1812In the North SeaBWAS-1793
22.4.1813Sailed for NewfoundlandBWAS-1793
19.12.1813Took the Lugger Le Génie (16) off Portland .BG
26.4.1814Sailed for NewfoundlandBWAS-1793
15.7.1815Accepted the surrender of Napoleon IBWAS-1793
12.1815Began fitting as a convict hulk at SheernessBWAS-1793
12.1816Completed conversionBWAS-1793
12.1816Refitted as a Unrated Prison Ship
5.10.1824Renamed Captivity
4.1826Fitted to move to Plymouth and became a convict hulk thereBWAS-1793
1834Out of serviceBWAS-1793
21.1.1836Sold at Plymouth for £4,030BWAS-1793


DatesFleetFleet CommanderSource
14.8.1798-1798Saumarez's Squadron 1798Sir James Saumarez (1757-1836) 

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian Stephens on Thursday 3rd of April 2014 17:51

Providence Gazette,
October 7, 1815, p. 2
The following particulars respecting the embarkation of Bonaparte on board the Northumberland, have been received from a source entitled to every credit; we give them to the public as authentic. The Bellerophon and the Tonnant, sailed from the Bay of Plymouth on Friday; but we do not imagine that it was to prevent the application for a writ of habeaus corpus. The fact is, that the concourse of boats was so great, and the danger to which they were exposed that the government thought proper to order the Bellerophon to a greater distance. The process, of which so much has been said, was nothing more than an ordinary subpoena from the Court of Kings bench, procured by some person who had a cause pending in that court, and who amused himself by citing as witnesses, Napoleon, Jerome, and Admiral Villaumes. The Northumberland left Portsmouth on Friday, also, and on Sunday arrived off Torbay. General Bertrand was the first to come on board the Tonnant, where he dined with Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn. Sir George explained to him his instructions with regard to Bonaparte; one article of which was, that his baggage should be examined before it was taken on board the Northumberland. Bertram warmly protested against sending Bonaparte to St. Helena, when he desired and expected to have lived in peace in England, protected by English laws. Lord Keith and Sir George did not enter into a discussion on this point.

After dinner, they accompanied Bertrand on board the Bellerophon. Before their arrival, they had taken from Bonaparte his pistol and all his arms. Those who were not to accompany him were sent on board the frigate Eurotas. They showed a great unwillingness to be separated from him. Bonaparte took leave of them individually; Savery and L'Allemand were, however, left on board the Bellerophon.

When Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn came on board, Bonaparte was on deck ready to receive them. After the usual salutation Lord Keith addressed himself to Bonaparte, and requested him to say at what hour he proposed to go on board the Northumberland. Bonaparte protested with the greatest vehemency against this act of British Government. "He had not expected it, he could see no reasonable objection to his residing in England in tranquility, for the remainder of his days." Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn made no reply. An English officer who stood near him observed, that if he was not sent to St. Helena, he would be sent to the Emperor Alexander, "God keep me from the Russians," replied he, shrugging his shoulders and addressing Bertrand. "At what hour tomorrow morning, shall I come, General, and accompany you on board the Northumberland," asked Sir George Cockburn. Bonaparte appeared somewhat surprised at hearing himself addressed simply as General, but replied at 10 o’clock. Bertrand and his Lady, Savary, L'Allemand, Count Montholon and his Lady, were near Bonaparte; Sir George Cockburn asked them if they wished anything before they sailed? Bertrand replied, that he wanted 20 packs of cards, a backgammon board and a set of dominoes. Madame Bertrand required some articles of furniture. One of the French officers, nephew of Josephine, complained, that they had not kept their word with Bonaparte, who expected to reside in England with his suite. Bonaparte asked Lord Keith's opinion; who merely replied, that he must obey the orders he had received form his government. Bonaparte requested a second interview; Lord Keith refused, observing, that he could give him a little satisfaction, in as mush his orders were peremptory, and it was impossible to make nay change in the sentence which had been announced to him. An officer who stood near observed, "Had you remained one hour longer, you would have been taken and sent to Paris." Bonaparte turned his eyes upon the speaker, but made no reply.

Sir George the next morning very early went on board the Bellerophon, to inspect the baggage of Bonaparte. It consisted of two services of plate, some articles of gold, a superb silver toilet set, books, bed &c. The whole was carried on board the Northumberland at 10 o’clock. At half past 11, Lord Keith came in the Tonnant's cutter on board the Bellerophon, to receive Bonaparte and those who were to accompany him. Before its arrival and afterward, he conversed with Captain Maitland and the officers of the Bellerophon. He ten went on board the cutter, and again took off his hat to them. Lord keith received on board the cutter the following persons; Bonaparte, Bertrand, lady and three children; the Count and Countess Montholon and child, Count Lascassos, General Gourgaud, nine male and three female servants. Savary and L'Allemand were left on board the Bellerophon. Savary appeared mush to dread the idea of being given up to the French government, after repeating that the honour of England would not suffer him to be sent to France. At noon the cutter came alongside the Northumberland. Bertran was the first who went on board. Bonaparte followed him, as soon as he came on deck, he said to Sir George Cockburn, "I am under your orders," He bowed to Lord Lowther and Mr. Littleton; who were near the Admiral, and said something to them, to which they replied. He asked one of the officers in which corp he served. The officer replied, "In the Artillery" "I sparan from that service," Bonaparte briskly rejoined. After taking leave of the officers who accompanied him from the Bellerophon, he went into the cabin, where, besides his principal attendants, were Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn, Lord Lowther, and the Hon. Mr. Lyttleton. Lord Keith took leave of him, and went on board the Tonnant. Lord Lowther and Mr. Lyttlton remained, and had conversation of nearly two hours with him.

The Bellerophon, Tonnant, and Eurotas, returned to Plymouth Bay on Tuesday. The Northumberland cruised off that port the whole day, although the wind was favourable. It is supposed that they are waiting the arrival of the Weymouth, which was to bring them supplies the following day.

He asked one of the officers in which corp he served. The officer replied, "In the Artillery" "I sparan from that service," Bonaparte briskly rejoined. After taking leave of the officers who accompanied him from the Bellerophon, he went into the cabin, where, besides his principal attendants, were Lord Keith and Sir George Cockburn, Lord Lowther, and the Hon. Mr. Lyttleton. Lord Keith took leave of him, and went on board the Tonnant. Lord Lowther and Mr. Lyttlton remained, and had conversation of nearly two hours with him.

Posted by Brian Stephens on Thursday 3rd of April 2014 17:42

From a London paper,
Private Correspondence
On board the Bellerophon
By some passengers who came in the Bellerophon, it appears that Bonaparte was quite at his ease on board that ship; took possession of the Captains cabin, sana ceremonie, invited the officers of the ship to his table, talked with great freedom on the state of things; said it was impossible for the Bourbons to govern France, and that Napoleon II. would be very soon recalled to the throne. That Fouche was an ass and totally unfit for the office assigned to him. He acknowledged that England alone had ruined all his grand plans, and that not for her he had been Emperor of the East as well as the West. He walked on the poop and quarter deck, conversed with the seamen and effected great gaiety and unconcern, is short, such is the talent of his "child and companion of jacobinism," that before they arrived in Torbay, he was considered by all on board as a devilish good fellow.

From: The Royal Gazette and Newfoundland
September 7, 1815 page 2


Copy of a letter from a young Somersetshire sailor, on board the Bellerophon
His Majesty's Ship Bellerophon, Torbay
July 24, 1815

I avail myself of an opportunity of informing you of an occurrence that will doubtless be felt with pleasure. Nothing less than that we have in our possession the common disturber of the repose of Europe, who finding himself foiled in all his attempts to regain that power he so recently lost, endeavored to escape to America; but the vigilance of his Majesty's cruisers has prevented it, and I have to boast of being in the ship that claims the honour of his capture, which was effected in the following manner.

The French coast was blockaded very closely; the part to which we were stationed was Basque Roads, and at this place it was that he endeavored to escape; but finding it impossible and being pressed on shore by the advance of hostile troops, together with the turning of the people to the side of Louis, he determined to give himself up to our Captain rather than run the risk of falling into the hands of the more unceremonious enemies on shore. The white flag was displayed at Rochelle on the 12th, and on the 14th a flag of truce came out from Rochefort, with part of Bonaparte's suite, who gave us to understand that he would surrender on the following morning, which he did about half-past seven, coming out in the Epervier man-of-war brig, out of which we brought him in our barge.

We are to lie here for orders; the rumor is, however, that we shall go up the river with him, it being considered an act of policy rather than let his travel through the country

Plymouth, Wednesday night.
The Bellerophon is this moment anchored in the Sound, with Napoleon on board, having been ordered to this port from Torbay by the Admiralty. What is to be done with him is kept profoundly secret. No one is allowed to go into or near the ship; not even Mrs. Maitland, wife of the Captain.

Posted by Brian Stephens on Thursday 3rd of April 2014 17:38

The Providence Gazette
From Lloyds, Torbay,July 24

Arrived this day his Majesty's ships Myrmidon and Bellerophon; on board the latter, is Napoleon Bonaparte, Gen. Bertram, his wife, and three children; the Count Montholon, his wife and one child; Savery, Les Casses and his son, General L'Allemand and several others, in all about 34. The Port Admiral at Plymouth and my Lord Keith are expected this afternoon from that port, when it will be known what is to become of Napoleon and his party: at present we know nothing of what is intended
to be done with them. No strangers are permitted to go along side the Bellerophon, but Napoleon has been seen plain enough by all the stern-gallery, and those that go round the ship have full view of him.

Another letter of the same date, from Torbay, after confirming all that is said in the preceding, states that the Duke of Rovigo, Count Las Casses, Count Montholon and family. two Lieut. Cols, three Captains, and two Lieutenants, are on board his Majesty's ship Myrmidon.

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