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AETNA (6) Built in 1824, Chatham.
Sold in 1846.

  • 1824 In May 1824 Williams SANDOM commissioned her at Spithead and she was at Gibraltar, fully manned and stored for action against Algiers, fourteen days after she left the stocks.
  • 1827 T. E. HOSTE, 12/1827, Woolwich.
  • 1828 Stephen LUSHINGTON, 05/1828, Mediterranean.
    In October she joined an Anglo/French squadron consisting of BLONDE, Edmond LYONS, LA DUCHESSE DE BERRI, CONQUERANT, L'ARMIDE and LA DIDON, to attack Morea Castle at Patras (Patrai) in Greece, the last stronghold of the Turks in the Peloponnesos. Four 18-pounders were landed from each ship on the 18th. and a party of officers and seamen mounted them in batteries but their fire over a period of eight days was insufficient to overcome the defences.
    On the 29th. a breaching battery of 24-pounders was landed and during the night AETNA worked up under reefed courses and close-reefed topsails to anchor within 800 yards of the castle. At daylight a tremendous fire was opened on the enemy which resulted in unconditional surrender in four hours. During the action Lieut. George Logan of the Royal Marine Artillery fired 102 shells from AETNA into the castle, only the first four overshooting. Lieut. Baldwin WALKER, first of AETNA, was commended by Capt. LYONS in his report to Vice-Ad. MALCOLM.
  • 1829 Robert INGRAM, 10/1829, Mediterranean.
  • 1831 Edward BELCHER, 05/1830, survey of the Arguin shoals some 120 miles off the east African coast on which the French frigate MEDUSE had been wrecked on 2 July 1816 while on her way to Senegal.
    (149 survivors were abandoned on a raft with only a few casks of wine. Twelve days later the frigate ARGUS found only 15 wretches still alive).
    After 7 months on the African station, during which time AETNA surveyed the coast between Cape Blanco and the Rio Grande, BELCHER was forced to return home to Portsmouth on 14 August 1831 due to scurvy in the crew.
  • Following her return two courts-martial were held at Spithead.
    In one, on 25 and 26 August 1831, Lieut. Francis Godolphin BOND was admonished for negligence in allowing two Kroomen to desert at Sierra Leone and for neglecting to watch out for recall signals from the ship while the boats were away watering at the Los Is.
    In the second, on 23 and 24 September, Midshipman Henry Grainger BACKHOUSE was found guilty of insolent conduct towards Cdr. BELCHER and insubordination in quitting the ship in defiance of the 1st. Lieutenant (Mr Thomas MITCHELL, who had joined since the AETNA arrived home, superseding Lieut. Quin) who had refused him leave of absence.
    He was dismissed his ship.
    Among those called as witnesses were: Ass. Surveyor, Lieut. Alfred MILES; Master, Mr JOHNSON; Second Master, Mr STRONG; Gunner, Edward CRAYDON; Boatswain, John HARRISON; Carpenter, Joseph SHILLETO; Mate, Mr ROBERTSON; Midshipman R. HOPKINS; Clerk, Mr HOOPER; Surgeon, Francis LOGAN; Sergeant of marines, John INGLE; Marine Samuel ADNEY.
  • At the end of 1832 AETNA was stationed in the River Douro during the Portuguese civil war as part of the British squadron under William GLASCOCK in ORESTES.
    On the 19 November her tender, the cutter RAVEN, Lieut. William ARLETT, which had been taking soundings outside the bar, came under fire from Don Miguel's forces.
    Capt. BELCHER, realising that RAVEN could not distinguish the signal to remain at sea, went down river in his own boat to warn her. He came alongside as the forts were still firing the last of some 15 rounds.
    On 23 November two British brigs were fired on as they tried to run the blockade, one being hulled. The shots passed between the masts of AETNA and ORESTES, but without damaging either vessel.
  • On 2 February 1833 three shots were fired at a boat belonging to AETNA as she was returning from an attempt to speak with RHADAMANTHUS outside the bar. Another of AETNA's boats had to be beached north of Oporto after being caught outside in a gale, Lieut. LEGARD nearly losing his life. The crew had been away from the ship for 24 days when they returned on 6 February having been shot at by both sides.
    Twelve days later large pieces of shell fell on board AETNA, fortunately without causing any injuries.
  • Towards the end of April 1833 AETNA was ordered to Lisbon prior to going to the Mediterranean to survey the Esquirques (or Skerki) reefs across the entrance to the Sicilian Channel.
    They lie between 50 and 100 miles N. E. of Bizerta in Tunisia and had first been been surveyed by Captain URBAN. In a chart of 1810 they are shown as consisting of two reefs of large rocks lying about two miles apart surrounded by a bank of sand.
    She returned to Portsmouth in August and paid off on 10 September 1833.
  • 1833 William George SKYRING, 20/09/33. William ARLETT (act), 12/1833, coast of Africa.
  • 1836 Capt. Alexander VIDAL, 10/1835, Africa.
  • Lieut. John WILSON, 01/1839, Woolwich.
  • 1844 Devonport.

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