HMS Derwent (1807)

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52 ships of the Cruizer class (1797) being built or ordered during 1806-1807. RMG J4149.jpg
HMS Derwent - Cruizer class - Plan showing the framing profile (disposition)
Royal Navy EnsignUK
Name: HMS Derwent
Ordered: 1 October 1806
Builder: Isaac Blackburn, Turnchapel
Laid down: December 1806
Launched: 23 May 1807
Fate: Sold 7 March 1817
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Cruizer class
Type: Brig-sloop
Tonnage: 382 (bm)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Brig
Complement: 121

16 x 32-pounder carronades +

2 x 6-pounder bow guns

HMS Derwent was launched in 1807 and later that year became one of the first ships sent by the British Royal Navy to suppress the slave trade.


Commander William Goate commissioned Derwent in June 1807 for the Channel. Commander Frederick Parker replaced Goate in November. Parker sailed for the west coast of Africa on 17 November in company with the fifth-rate frigate HMS Solebay and Tigress, the transport Agincourt, the colonial schooner George, and some merchant vessels, all bound for Sierra Leone. Commodore Edward Columbine, the governor of Sierra Leone, raised his pennant in Solebay. The warships were the first ships in the West Africa Squadron that the British government had established to interdict the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.

When the vessels arrived at Gorée, Columbine and Major Charles William Maxwell, the commander of the British garrison there, decided to make an attack on Senegal to prevent French privateers from continuing to use it as a base. Major Maxwell and some 160 men of the Royal African Corps embarked on Agincourt. Then she, Solebay, Derwent, Tigress, and some other vessels sailed on 4 July and arrived off the bar across the river on 10 July.[2]

As the expedition landed its troops across the surf, Captain Parker of Derwent, one of his midshipmen, and six seamen drowned. The troops, together with 120 seamen and 50 marines moved up the river. The French force of 160 regulars and 240 militia retreated and on 13 July Saint Louis surrendered. The French prisoners of war were repatriated to France under parole.[2]

On 11 July Solebay grounded trying to come up the river. All her crew and most of her stores were saved. Captain Columbine appointed his First Lieutenant, Joseph Swabey Tetley, to the command of Derwent in Parker's place.[2]

22 Aug 1809 Derwent arrived at Spithead on 22 August, carrying Solebay's captain and crew. Four days later Derwent came into Portsmouth.

On 31 August Tetley received promotion to the rank of Commander and was confirmed in command of Derwent. Between January and October 1810 Derwent underwent fitting at Portsmouth. Commander George Sutton assumed command in May 1810.[1]

On 30 July 1811 Derwent captured the French privateer Rafleur. Rafleur, of Granville, carried 20 men armed with small arms.[3][Note 1]

Freundshaft, Bull. master, arrived at Ramsgate on 18 November, having lost her fore mast. She had been detained by Derwent.[5]

On 7 February 1813 Derwent captured the French privateer Edouard off The Lizard. She was pierced for 16 guns but only had eight mounted. She had a complement of 49 men and had left Saint-Malo the evening before and had not made any captures.[6][Note 2]

On 9 February Quebec, Adams, master, arrived at Portsmouth.[Note 3] She had been sailing from London to Gibraltar when the American privateer Paul Jones had captured her near Lisbon on 20 January after a three-hour fight.[Note 4]. Derwent had recaptured Quebec and sent her back to England.[10]

Horatio, Walker, master, arrived at Portsmouth a some days before 24 October.[Note 5] She had been sailing from Teneriffe to London when a French privateer lugger of 14 guns and 95 men had captured her off the Wight. Derwent had recaptured her off Barfleur and sent her back to England.[12]

On 24 December Lloyd's List reported that Derwent had recaptured Racehorse, which the French privateer Diligent, of 14 guns and 120 men, had captured. Racehorse had been sailing from Newfoundland to Teignmouth when captured.[13][Note 6]

Derwent arrived at Plymouth on 20 December. She had left there on 25 November with a convoy for St Andero. On the 30th a transport, letter "N", lost her bowsprit and foremast and Derwent towed her for two days. However a storm came up and Derwent had to drop the tow and there were fears for the transport's safety. Derwent herself lost her bowsprit in the storm and had to throw some guns overboard, but arrived safely at St Andero with three transports.[13]

In June 1814 Commander Thomas Williams replaced Sutton. Derwent was paid off in 1815.


The "Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy" offered the "Derwent sloop, of 382 tons", "Lying at Chatham", for sale on 7 March 1817.[15] Derwent was sold to Mr. Young at Chatham on 7 March 1817 for £850.[1]

Notes, citations, and references[edit]


  1. ^ She had been commissioned at Granville circa June 1811 with 85 men and 2 guns.[4]
  2. ^ Edouard was a 50-ton ("of load") privateer from Saint-Malo commissioned in November 1811 (22.09 metre long, 19.81 at the keel, 4.22m beam and 1.95 m draft). She was under the command of Jean Longrais with 37 men and six 1–pounder guns from November 1811 to April 1812. She was under Jean-François Dilarbourg (or Dibarboure?) with 22 men and six 1–pounder guns from August 1812 to February 1813.[7]
  3. ^ Quebec, of 222 tons (bm), had been built at Quebec in 1799. She was armed with thirteen 12-pounder guns and one 6-pounder.[8]
  4. ^ Paul Jones, of New York, AS. Taylor, master, was a schooner of 120 tons and 16 guns. HMS Leonidas captured her on 23 May off the coast of Ireland after a chase. During the chase Paul Jones had five men wounded out of a crew of 85 at the time.[9]
  5. ^ Horatio, of two guns and 137 tons (bm), had been launched in Cornwall in 1810.[11]
  6. ^ Racehorse, of 123 tons (bm), had been launched at Teignbmouth in 1802.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Winfield (2008), pp.297-8.
  2. ^ a b c "No. 16291". The London Gazette. 22 August 1809. pp. 1342–1345.
  3. ^ Naval Chronicle, Vol. 26, p.168.
  4. ^ Demerliac (2004), №1970, p.260.
  5. ^ Lloyd's List №4616.
  6. ^ "No. 16702". The London Gazette. 9 February 1813. p. 305.
  7. ^ Demerliac (2004), №2107, p.271.
  8. ^ Lloyd's Register (1813), Seq.№Q6.
  9. ^ Emmons (1854), pp.188–189.
  10. ^ Lloyd's List №4745.
  11. ^ Lloyd's Register (1813), Seq.№H920.
  12. ^ Lloyd's List №4812.
  13. ^ a b Lloyd's List №4832.
  14. ^ Lloyd's Register (1813), Seq.№R2.
  15. ^ "No. 17214". The London Gazette. 1 February 1817. p. 213.


  • Demerliac, Alain (2004). La Marine du Consulat et du Premier Empire: Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1800 à 1815 (in French). Éditions Ancre. ISBN 2-903179-30-1.
  • Emmons, George Foster (1853) The navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853; with a brief history of each vessel’s service and fate ... Comp. by Lieut. George F. Emmons ... under the authority of the Navy Dept. To which is added a list of private armed vessels, fitted out under the American flag ... also a list of the revenue and coast survey vessels, and principal ocean steamers, belonging to citizens of the United States in 1850. (Washington: Gideon & Co.)
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-246-7.