Nominal Guns38BWAS-1793
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorThe Royal Navy
Keel Laid Down1793/03BWAS-1793
How acquiredBuilt by ContractBWAS-1793
ShipyardRotherhithe BWAS-1793
Ship ClassArtois Class
Designed bySir John HenslowBWAS-1793
ConstructorMarmaduke StalkarttBWAS-1793
CategoryFifth RateBWAS-1793
Ship TypeFrigate
Broken Up1819/07BWAS-1793


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1793
Length of Gundeck146' 4"Imperial Feet44.503 
Length of Keel121' 10"Imperial Feet36.8808 
Breadth39' 3"Imperial Feet11.8957 
Depth in Hold13' 9 ½"Imperial Feet3.9751 
Draught Forward10' 3"Imperial Feet3.1242 
Draught Aft15' 7"Imperial Feet4.6076 
Burthen983 7094Tons BM 


1794/06/11Broadside Weight = 494 Imperial Pound ( 224.029 kg)BWAS-1793
Upper Gun Deck28 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck12 British 32-Pound Carronade
Quarterdeck2 British 9-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 32-Pound Carronade
Forecastle2 British 9-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1793/03/02270Design Complement

Commanding Officers

1794/07 - 1796CaptainJohn PeytonBWAS-17931796 - 1796/06CaptainGeorge OakesBWAS-17931796/06CaptainRobert Dudley OliverBWAS-17931796/06 - 1797/07CaptainGeorge OakesBWAS-17931797/07 - 1797/10CaptainThomas Francis FremantleBWAS-17931797/10 - 1802/10CaptainEdward James FooteBWAS-17931803/05 - 1805/07CaptainThe Hon. Courtnay BoyleBWAS-17931805/07 - 1806/02CaptainRobert CorbetBWAS-17931806/02 - 1811/06CaptainJohn StewartBWAS-17931812/09 - 1815/09CaptainJames Alexander GordonBWAS-1793

Flag Officers

1800/05/23 - 1802/10Rear-Admiral of the BlueSir Richard Hussey Bickerton (2nd Baronet Bickerton of Upwood)BWAS-1793

Commissioned Officers

1797/07 - 1797/10LieutenantJohn DouglasBWAS-17931805/05 - 1811/06LieutenantThomas BennettNBD18491812/09/14 - 1814/10/19First LieutenantHenry KingNBD1849

Warrant Officers

1805/10/11 - 1806/12/01MasterMichael Rose LangdonADM29-1

Petty Officers

1800 - 1801/09/04MidshipmanWilliam BalfourNBD18491806/04 - 1806MidshipmanJohn BendysheNBD18491806/04 - 1810/01MidshipmanEdwin Ludlow RichNBD18491806/12 - 1811/06MidshipmanJohn HayNBD18491807/01 - 1809/04MidshipmanGeorge Pryse CampbellNBD18491809 - 1810/01/28MidshipmanGilbert Dutton KennicottNBD18491812/06 - 1815/02/25MidshipmanJoseph CammelleriNBD18491812/09 - 1812/11MidshipmanRichard BowenBWAS-1714


1797/11 - 18021st Class VolunteerJohn FooteNBD1849

Service History

1794/06/16Began fitting at Deptford Dockyard BWAS-1793
1794/09/16Completed fitting at Deptford Dockyard BWAS-1793
1796/07Took the Privateer Cutter Le Calvados (6) off the Irish Coast
1796/08/28Took the Privateer L'Indemnité (14) on the Irish Coast
1796/09/16Took the Unrated Princesa (16) off Corunna
1797/01/04Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1793
1797/07/24Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
1798/01/16Took the Privateer Brig La Belliqueuse (18) off the Irish coast
1798/03/08Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1793
1798/05/27Seahorse vs Sensible
1798/05/27Took the Fifth Rate Frigate La Sensible (32) off Malta
1798/09/02In company with Emerald (36) destroyed L'Anémone (6) at DamiettaBWAS-1793
1799/03/18Joined Nelson off Palermo with Troubridge's fleet from AlexandriaTRN5
1799/06At NaplesBWAS-1793
1799/07/29Went aground off LivornoBWAS-1793
1799/10Returned homeBWAS-1793
1800/05/23Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1793
1802In the East IndiesBWAS-1793
1802/10Returned home and paid offBWAS-1793
1803/04Began fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1793
1803/06Completed fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1793
1804/07/11Attack on Lavandou
1804/07/11Action at Lavandon
1805/01Off ToulonTRN5
1805/01/17Sighted Vice-Admiral Villeneuve leaving Toulon in the afternoon with eleven sail of the line, seven frigates, and two brigs.TRN5
1805/01/19Left Villeneuve at 2AM, at 1.50PM signalled to Nelson that the enemy was at sea. Was detached by Nelson to round the southern end of Sardinia, look into San Pietro, and return.TRN5
1805/01/21Chased by the Cornelie (40) while standing towards Pulla BayTRN5
1805/05/04The boats of the Seahorse cut out an ordnance brig, laden with powder and stores, from the harbour of San Pedro, while the frigate herself engaged three gunboats and two armed schooners. The Seahorse had one man killed.TRN5
1806On the Jamaica StationBWAS-1793
1807/04/30Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1793
1808/07/05Action of 5th July 1808
1808/07/05Took the   off ChgiliodrmiaTRN5
1810/05/08Took the Privateer La Stella di Napoleon (2)
1811/06Paid offBWAS-1793
1812/08Began middling repair at Woolwich Dockyard BWAS-1793
1812/10Completed middling repair at Woolwich Dockyard BWAS-1793
1812/11Sailed for North AmericaBWAS-1793
1813/11/13Sank the privateer La Subtile (16) off Beachy HeadBWAS-1793
1814/08In Potomac operationsBWAS-1793
1814/12/14Battle of Lake Borgne
1815/09Laid up at PlymouthBWAS-1793
1819/07Broken up at PlymouthBWAS-1793


BWAS-1793 British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793 - 1817Rif WinfieldBook
NBD1849 A Naval Biographical Dictionary 1849O'BrienDigital Book
ADM29-1 ADM 29/1 1802-1814 Admiralty: Warrant Officers. Entry Books of Certificates of Service Document
BWAS-1714 British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792Rif WinfieldBook
TRN5 The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present Vol VWilliam Laid ClowesDigital Book

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian on Friday 4th of July 2014 16:39

1814/08 In Potomac operations
The London Gazette Publication date: 17 October 1814
Seahorse, Chesapeake, September 9, 1814
Sir; In obedience to your orders, I proceeded into the River Potomac, with the ships named in the margin: Seahorse,Euryalus, Devastation, Aetna, Meteor, Erebus, Anna Maria dispatch boat.
On the 17th of last month, but from being without pilots to assist us through out the difficult part of the river called the Kettle-Bottoms, and from contrary winds we were unable to reach Fort Washington, until evening of the 27th. Nor was this effected but by the severest labour. I believe each of the ships were not less than twenty different times aground, and each time we were obliged to haul off by main strength, and we were employed warping for five whole successive days, with the exception of a few hours, a distance of more that fifty miles.
The bomb-ships were placed on the evening of the 27th, and immediately began the bombardment of the Fort, it being my intention to attack it with the frigates at day-light the following morning. On the bursting of the first shell, the garrison were observed to retreat; but supposing some concealed design, I directed the fire to continue. At 8 o'clock, however, my doubts were removed by the explosion of the powder-magazine which destroyed the inner buildings, and at day-light on the 28th we took possession. Besides the principal fort, which contained two fifty two pounders, two thirty two pounders, and 8 twenty four pounders, there was a battery on the beach of 5 eighteen pounders, a martello tower with 2 twelve pounders and loop-holes for musketry, and a battery in the rear of two twelve and six six pounder field pieces. The whole of these guns were already spiked by the enemy, and their complete destruction, with their carriages also,was effected by the seamen and marines, sent on that service, in less than two hours. The populist city of Alexandria thus lost it's only defence; and, having buoyed the channel, I deemed it better to postpone giving any answer to a proposal made to me for it's capitulation until the following morning, when I was enable to place the shipping in such a position as would ensure assent to the terms I had decided to enforce.
To this measure I attribute their ready acquiescence, as it removed that doubt of my determination to proceed, which had been raised in the minds of the inhabitants by our army having retired from Washington; this part of out proceedings will be further explained by the accompanying documents.
The Honourable Lieutenant Gordon of this ship, was sent on the evening of the 28th to prevent the escape of any of the vessels comprised in the capitulation, and the whole of those which were sea worthy, amounting to seventy one in number, were fitted and loaded by the 31st.
Captain Baker, of the Fairy, bringing your orders of the 27th, having fought his way up the river past a battery of five guns and a large military force, confirmed the rumors, which had already reached me, of strong measures having been taken to oppose our return; and therefore quitted Alexandria without waiting to destroy those remaining stores which we had not the means of bringing away.
Contrary winds again occasioned us the laborious task of warping the ships down the river, in which a days delay took place, owing to the Devastation grounding. The enemy took advantage of this circumstance to attempt her destruction by three fire vessels, attended by five row boats; but their object was defeated by the promptitude and gallantry of Captain Alexander, who pushed off with his own boats, and being followed by those of the other ships, chased the boats of the enemy up to the town of Alexandria. The cool and steady conduct of Mr. John Moore, Midshipman of the Seahorse, in towing the nearest fire vessel on shore whilst the others were removed from the power of doing mischief by the smaller boats of the Devastation, entitles him to my highest commendation.
The Meteor and the Fairy, assisted by the Anna Marie dispatch boat, and a boat belonging to the Euryalus, with a howitzer, had greatly impeded the progress of the enemy in their works, notwithstanding which, they were enabled to increase their battery to eleven guns, with a furnace for heating shot. On the 3d. the wind going to the N.W. the Etna and the Erebus succeeded in getting down to their assistance, and the whole of us with the prizes, were assembled there on the 4th, except the Devastation, which, in spit of our utmost exertion in warping her, still remained five miles higher up the river. This was the moment when the enemy made his greatest efforts to effect our destruction.
The Erebus being judicially placed by Captain Bartholomew in an admirable position for harassing the workmen employed in the trenches, was attacked by three field pieces, which did her considerable damage before they were beaten off. And, another attempt being made to destroy the Devastation with fire vessels, I sent the boats, Under Captain Baker, to her assistance; nothing could exceed the alacrity with which Captain Baker went on this service to which I attribute the immediate retreat of the boats and fire vessels. His loss, however, was considerable, owing to their having sought refuge under some guns in a narrow creek thickly wooded, from which it was impossible for him to dislodge them.
On the 5th at noon, the wind coming fair and all my managements being made, the Seahorse and Euryalus anchored within short musket shot of the batteries, while the whole of the prizes passed betwixt us and the shoal; the Bombs, the Fairy, and Erebus, firing as they past, and afterwords anchoring in a favourable position for facilitating by means of their force, the further removal of the frigates. At 3 p.m. having completely silenced the enemy's fire, the Seahorse and Euryalus cut their cables, and the whole of us proceeded to the next position taken up by the troops, where they had two batteries, mounting from fourteen to eighteen guns, on a range of cliffs of about a mile extent, under which we were of necessity obliged to pass very close. I did not intend to make the attack that evening, but the Erebus grounding within range, we were necessarily called into action. On this occasion the fire of the Fairy had the most decisive effect, as well as that of the Erebus, while the Bombs threw their shells with excellent precision, and the guns of the batteries thereby completely silenced by about eight o'clock.
At day-light on the 6th I made signal to weigh and so satisfied were the whole of the parties opposed to us of their opposition being ineffectual that they allowed us to pass without further molestation. I cannot close this detail of operations, comprising a period of twenty tree days, without begging leave to call your attention to the singular exertion of those, whom I had the honour to command, by which our success was effected. Our hammocks were down only two nights during the whole time; the many laborious duties which we had to perform, were ececuted with a cheerfulness which I shall ever remember with pride, and which will ensure, I hope, to the whole of the detachments, your favourable estimation of their extraordinary zeal and abilities.
To Captain Napier I owe more obligations than I have words to express. The Euryalus lost her bowsprit, the head of her fore-mast, and the heads of all her top-masts, in a tornado which she encountered on the 25th just as her sails were clued up, whilst we were passing the Flats of Maryland Point; and yet, after twelve hours work on her refittal, she was again under weigh, and advancing up the river. Captain Napier speaks highly of the conduct of Lieutenant Thomas Herbert on this as well as on every other of the many trying occasions which have called his abilities into action. His exertions were also particularly conspicuous in the prizes, many of which, already sunk by the enemy, were weighed. mastered, hove down, caulked, rigged and loaded, by our little squadron, during the tree days which we remained at Alexandria. (goes on to congratulate other crews etc.)

Make a comment about this page

Recent comments to other pages
Date postedByPage
Wednesday 22nd of November 2017 08:43Tim OakleyBritish hired cutter 'Black Joke' (1795) (10)
Tuesday 21st of November 2017 20:02Tim OakleyBritish Fifth Rate frigate 'Naiad' (1797) (38)
Friday 17th of November 2017 12:01Anne BiddulphEdward Biddulph
Wednesday 15th of November 2017 19:59Tim OakleyBritish Fifth Rate frigate 'Phoenix' (1783) (36)
Monday 13th of November 2017 03:43Geoff BatesJohn Chilcott