Nominal Guns14B028
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
PreviouslyFrench Privateer sloop 'Le Tarleton' (1782) (14)
Ship TypeSloop B028
Sailing RigBrigB028
Last known8.1797B028


7.1794Broadside Weight = 28 Imperial Pound ( 12.698 kg)BWAS-1714
Gun Deck14 British 4-Pounder

2 Ship Commanders

1.7.1794 - 7.1796Commander Charles Brisbane (1769-1829)W00510.1796Commander Robert Redmill (1758-1819)

Service History

29.8.1793Taken at the fall of Toulon to Admiral Samuel HoodTRN4
8.3.1795Sailed from Leghorn to San Fiorenzo, with orders for the Berwick to join Admiral William Hotham off Cape CorseTRN4
14.3.1795Action off Genoa
19.3.1795Arrived in Valence Bay, between Spezzia and Leghorn. Helped to rescue men and material from the wrecked IllustriousTRN4

Notes on Ship

Note from David Heppre (via Rif Winfield and John Tredea)
I agree that she was commanded by Brisbane in the Med. 1794-1796 - Brisbane moved on to command the Tremendous by the end of 1796. Steel's List has a brief mention of Robert Redmill commanding her in 10.1796, but then just lists her, with no commander noted, from 11.96 until it disappears from his list in 8.1797. The National Archives has her Captain's Log until 9.1796 and pay books until 10.1796, which strongly suggest that she was taken out of service at this time and presumably sold locally, somewhere in the Med.


Previous comments on this page

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Posted by Paul Adams on Friday 18th of January 2013 10:58

Note the article on this vessel in Wikipedia is incorrect in stating that in the autumn of 1795, Commander Charles Brisbane took Tarleton to the Cape of Good Hope with news of an impending Dutch attack on the British. By this time Brisbane was in command of the sloop Moselle - which is mentioned in many sources as being at the Cape in late 1795. In late 1795, Tarleton was still in the Mediterranean, and in any case was probably in no fit condition for a voyage to the Cape.

Posted by Paul Adams on Friday 18th of January 2013 10:42

Here is some additional information relating to this vessel, sources are given at the end.

French brig le Tarleton, 14 guns, 1781-1793.
Royal Navy fireship Tarleton, 14 guns, 1793-1796.

October 19, 1781: Tarleton, a British transport brig belonging to a Mr. Young of New York, was one of numerous small vessels taken from the British while attempting to escape Yorktown prior to the surrender of Cornwallis, le Tarleton was taken into the French Navy and fitted out as a 14-gun brig-rigged corvette, and attached to the squadron under the command of Jacques-Melchior de Saint-Laurent, comte de Barras, in the defence of the Chesapeake, and later in the West Indies, probably by early 1782.
By January 1783, le Tarleton had moved to the West Indies. The French were planning an expedition against the British at Jamaica, and le Tarleton was sent by the governor of Saint-Domingue to Boston with despatches for lieutenant général de Vaudreuil, who was there with troops for the expedition.
January 3, 1783: the French brig le Tarleton, 14, M. de Camus, lieutenant de vaisseau, was engaged by an unidentified 18-gun British brig, although she forced the British brig to abandon her Spanish prize, le Tarlton was forced to return to Port-au-Prince for repairs. M. Entrechaux was wounded in this action.
February 9, 1783: on coming out of Port-au-Prince to resume her voyage to Boston, the French brig le Tarleton, 14, M. de Camus, lieutenant de vaisseau, was intercepted by an unidentified British frigate and brig. Le Tarleton took shelter under the guns of a nearby coastal battery and was able to drive off the British vessels. Le Tarleton did eventually reach Boston, but arrived too late to meet de Vaudreuil.
At the end of the war, le Tarleton was placed under the command of M. Aristide-Aubert du Petit-Thouars, enseigne de vaisseau, and in company with the frigate l’Amazone, escorted a homeward bound convoy from Saint-Domingue to France. Upon his arrival in Brest, Petit-Thouars informed the Minister that le Tarleton would be particularly well suited for use in voyages of discovery and exploration, and he asked to be given command of le Tarleton for such voyages. However, le Tarleton was decommissioned at Brest, and later in 1784 was transferred to the Mediterranean, based at Toulon.

From 1784, le Tarleton was stationed in the Mediterranean, based at Toulon, under the command of Laurent Jean François Truguet, Major de vaisseau (until 1788). In 1785-86, le Tarleton carried the French ambassador Choiseul-Gouffier, and his suite, to his new post at Constantinople, and afterwards le Tarleton was used in the eastern Mediterranean for hydrographic surveys of the Dardanelles, Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and the mouth of the Nile. Truguet mapped the coasts of the Ottoman Empire and took Choiseul-Gouffier on an exploration of what was believed to be the area where Troy had stood. While in command of le Tarleton, Truguet wrote a monograph on tactics and another on naval manœuvres; these were translated into Turkish and printed at Constantinople.
In 1790, commanded by M. Féraud, sous-lieutenant de vaisseau, le Tarleton sailed from Toulon to Milos, Sicily, via Tunis and Malta, and returned to Toulon after escorting French merchant shipping from Smyrna to Cerigo (Cythera).
In August 1793, le Tarleton was at Toulon, and was one of the many vessels handed over to the British when they occupied that port. During the occupation, in October 1793, le Tarlton was commanded by the French Royalist Louis-Joseph-Felix-Nöel Damblard de Lansmatre, lieutenant de vaisseau, and patrolled the Îles d’Hyères to suppress piracy. The British brought le Tarleton away with them when they evacuated Toulon, December 18, 1793.
After the evacuation of Toulon, the French began refitting such ships as had been left to them there. On June 5, 1794, contre-amiral Pierre Martin put to sea with seven sail of the line and four or five frigates. Admiral Lord Hood at once proceeded in search of them. He sighted them on June 10 and gave chase, driving the French into Gourjean Bay on June 11. Hood intended to destroy the French at their anchors but was prevented by unfavourable weather from making the attempt. A fireship attack, according to a plan suggested by Lieutenant Charles Brisbane, was then contemplated. Tarleton was one of the vessels converted to a fireship for this plan, with Lieutenant Charles Brisbane appointed as her commander. The fireship attack was abandoned as impracticable, and the French were later able to get back into Toulon.
Admiral Lord Hood was sufficiently impressed however, that on July 1, 1794, he promoted Lieutenant Charles Brisbane to Commander, and appointed him to command Tarleton.
On March 9, 1795, Vice-Admiral William Hotham despatched Tarleton to San Fiorenzo with orders for Berwick, 74, Commander Adam Littlejohn, to re-join the fleet off Cape Corse.
On March 10, 1795, Tarleton re-joined the fleet with the information that Berwick had been taken off Cape Corse by a French squadron on March 7.
On March 14, 1795, Tarleton was with the fleet in Hotham’s action off Genoa, attached to the weather division under Vice-Admiral Samuel Goodall.
Between 19 and 28 March, 1795, Tarleton was present, with others, at Valence Bay, between Spezia and Leghorn, providing assistance to Illustrious, 74, Captain Thomas Frederick, which had run aground there and was breaking up. All attempts to haul her off having failed, Illustrious was abandoned and set on fire on March 28, burning for two days. Soon after these events Commander Charles Brisbane was appointed to command Moselle, sloop, 18. Tarleton remained attached to Nelson’s squadron, at Vado Bay throughout July and August 1795. In August she was sent to Corsica, carrying troop reinforcements.
By January 24, 1796, Tarleton was lying at Ajaccio, in want of repair and short of complement.
In February 1796, Commander Robert Redmill was appointed to command Tarleton.
By September 27, 1796, Tarleton was soon to be sold, and Commander Robert Redmill had quit Tarleton and was homeward bound carrying letters and despatches. He was replaced in command of Tarleton by Lieutenant William Allen Proby (Viscount Proby, eldest son of the 1st Earl of Carysfort).
In his despatches of November 11, 1796, Admiral John Jervis reports that Lord Proby had by then quit Tarleton, and was doing well in his new (un-named) command. Tarleton, soon to be sold, was in danger of foundering on the passage from San Fiorenzo to Porto Ferrajo.
The last we hear of Tarleton is in Admiral John Jervis’s despatches of December 2, 1796, in which he reported that Tarleton had been sold by this date.
Bibliography & sources of information:
The Graves Papers and Other Documents Relating to the Naval Operations of the Yorktown Campaign, July to October 1781, Editor French Ensor Chadwick, The Naval History Society, De Vinne Press, New York, 1916.
Archives of Maryland, online, Volume 0048, pages 0335, 0368, 0386, 0417, and 0580.
Histoire des évènements des guerres maritimes entre la France et l’Angleterre, depuis 1778 et jusqu’en 1796, an 4 de la République. Yves-Joseph Kerguelen-Tremarec. Paris, 1796.
French National Archives. BB4 2. CAMPAGNES. 1790. VOLUME 2.
Guerres Maritimes de la France: Port de Toulon. Ses Armaments, son administration, depuis son origine, jusqu’a nos jours. V. Brun (de Toulon), Commissiare-Général de la Marine. Tome Second. Paris, 1861.
ADM 51/1164 – captain’s log, 12/09/1795 to 04/09/1796.
ADM 35/1935 – ship’s pay book, 26/06/1794 to 01/11/1796.
ADM 36/12657 – ship’s muster, 07/1794 to 10/1796.
T 50/59 and T 50/66 – Treasury pay lists.
The Naval Chronicle. Volume II, London, 1799. See Biographical Memoir of Lord Hood, pp. 1-50; Toulon Papers, pp. 102-119, 192-201, and 288-304.
The Naval Chronicle. Volume IV, London, 1801. See Biographical Memoir of Sir William Sidney Smith, pp. 445-477; Toulon Papers (supplement), pp. 477-480.
The Naval History of Great Britain, from the declaration of war by France in 1793, to the accession of George IV. William James, London, 1822.
The Royal Navy, a history from the earliest times to the present. William Laird Clowes. Volume IV, London, 1899.
The Despatches and Letters of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson. Nicholas Harris Nicolas. Volume II, London, 1845.
Letters of Admiral John Jervis (later Earl St. Vincent) to George John 2nd Earl Spencer, January to December 1796.

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