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ALCMENE (32) Built in 1794, Harwich.
Wrecked in 1809.

  • 1795 Capt. W. BROWNE.
  • 1796/1806 Capt. J. GORE.
  • 1796/1811 Capt. BROWNE resumed command.
  • On 26 May 1797 she captured the privateer COURAGEUX (28) and on 18 July she made a successful attack on forts and shipping at Vivero on northern Spain and captured the ship FELICIDAD and the brig BISARRO.
  • 1798/1806 Capt. G. HOPE, Mediterranean.
  • In December 1798 a rebellion in Naples allowed the French to enter and the Royal Family fled in NELSON's VANGUARD.
    On the 20th. NELSON ordered three barges and the cutter of ALCMENE, armed with cutlasses only, to assist in the evacuation of Naples. Only one barge was to be at the wharf, the others to lay on their oars outside the rocks. The other boats from ALCMENE were to report to VANGUARD and, with 4 or 6 soldiers in each, row half way towards the Mola Figlio.
    The ALCMENE was ordered to be ready to slip in the night if necessary. While VANGUARD took the Royal Family to Palermo on the 23rd., ALCMENE remained at Naples watching the Neapolitan ships of war. These were burnt in January 1799 by the Portuguese against NELSON's orders.
  • 1799/1806 Capt. H. DIGBY. Cruising off the coast of Portugal.
    In June three large French privateers were lurking off the coast of Portugal BORDELAIS and COURAGEUX, ships, and LE GRANDE DECIDE, brig. They were victualled for three months.
    On 22 June ALCMENE gave chase to a ship she had seen in the act of boarding an American. She followed him through the night and rounded the isle of Corvo on the 23rd. in light winds and calm, the enemy keeping his distance by towing and sweeping. On the 24th. and 25th. they passed two English brigs and and more than 40 merchant vessels steering for Lisbon. When a breeze sprang up on the morning of the 26th. ALCMENE was able to get within range and the enemy struck after about an hour. She was the COURAGEUX, commanded by Jean Bernard. She was armed with twenty-eight 12 and 9-pounders, some of which were thrown overboard in the chase, and had a crew of 253 men.
  • On the evening of 18th. July 1799 ALCMENE, accompanied by the privateer PHOENIX of Jersey, stood into the harbour at Vivero and ran between two Spanish vessels at anchor.
    Parties under Lieuts. WARREN and OLIVER boarded them and brought them out under fire from two forts.
    Both prizes, a ship La FELICIDAD and a brig El BISARRO, were laden with supplies for the naval arsenal at Ferrol.
    Mr HAMMOND, the commander of the PHOENIX, had provided the intelligence and seven days later he captured a French sloop from Domingo bound for Bordeaux.
  • On 16 August she captured a French letter of marque brig LES DEUX AMIS of 6 guns and 60 men.
    The brig was bound for San Domingo.
  • On 16 and 17 October 1799 NAIAD, TRITON, ALCMENE and ETHALION captured off Cape Finisterre two Spanish frigates St. BRIGIDA and THETIS which had been bound for Old Spain from Vera Cruz. ALCMENE lost one seaman killed and one petty officer and eight seamen wounded.
    ETHALION brought the THETIS into Plymouth on the 21st. and her cargo was found to consist of cocoa, sugar and cochineal, together with 1,411,526 dollars besides a great deal of concealed treasure. The other three ships brought their prize, St. BRIGIDA, in the following morning. She had a cargo of drugs, arnotto, cochineal, indigo and sugar with 1,500,000 dollars.
    On the 23rd. several gold sacramental plates and a gold crucifix were found concealed in a bag of cochineal.
    On the evening of the 25th., the anniversary of the Accession, the Spanish officers dined with T. Lewis and P. Birdwood, two of the commissioners for examining prizes at Plymouth.
    On the 28th. and 29th. the treasure from the two ships was conveyed in sixty-three artillery wagons and deposited in the dungeons of the Citadel. The procession left the Dock-Yard gate at 10 AM each day. It was flanked on either side by seamen, marines and midshipman and was led by a trumpeter of the Surrey Dragoons sounding the charge.
    Surrey Dragoons, two by two, with drawn sabres preceded drums and fifes playing 'Rule Britannia' and 'God Save the King'. Then came sixty-three wagons laden with dollars, more drums and fifes playing 'Britons Strike Home', armed seamen with cutlasses and more Dragoons with sabres. The rear was brought up by two trumpeters sounding the charge. Three seamen on the wagons carried the British Jack, Ensign and Pendant over those of the Spanish.
    Thousands of spectators cheered them on their way. 935 more boxes of dollars were moved to the dungeons on the 31st. and the cocoa, cochineal, indigo and sugar warehoused under Excise and Custom-house locks.
    Three of Russell's wagons from his warehouse in the Pigmarket, escorted by a party of the Somerset Provisional Cavalry, passed through the town on 23 November with part of the treasure for the Bank of England.
    The bulk of the treasure was moved on the 25th. The wagons were escorted by the fortunate Captains, Lieutenants, Masters and Midshipmen together with a body of seamen armed with pikes, armed marines and the Somerset Cavalry with drawn sabres. The band of the Plymouth Volunteers played 'Rule Britannia' and other popular tunes and the whole procession was cheered on by thousands of spectators and ladies waving their handkerchiefs from windows.
    The following day MELAMPUS arrived to take on board 40,000 pounds worth of dollars to pay the Russian and British troops in Guernsey and Jersey.
    On 14 January 1800 the prize money from the dollars taken on board the St. BRIGIDA and THETIS was paid. The sums ranged from 40,730 pounds for the captains down to 182 4s 9d for seamen and marines. The money for the hulls, rigging and stores was still to come. Since ALCMENE belonged to the Mediterranean squadron both the Earl of St Vincent and Lord KEITH were both liable as Commanders-in-Chief to receive one third of an eighth share.
  • ALCMENE went out into Plymouth Sound on 15 January 1800 and sailed for Torbay in a snowstorm on the 21st. She sent into Plymouth a prize on the 6 February, the SIMON laden with wine and brandy.
    On 20 February ALCMENE and DORIS sent into Falmouth the letter of marque MERCURY. She had been bound from Livorno to London with a valuable cargo of of silk goods when she captured a French privateer of 12 guns. Two seamen on board MERCURY took advantage of the absence of part of the crew to man the prize to join with the French prisoners to seize the ship and take her in to L'Orient but fortunately ALCMENE and DORIS came in sight and sent their boats to board her.
    During March she was cruising off the Spanish coast and recaptured and sent to England a ship from the Straits with a valuable cargo of silks for Liverpool. She arrived in Portsmouth from Lisbon on 2 April.
  • On 12 May ALCMENE came into Plymouth Sound convoyed by DIAMOND. She had struck on the Black Rocks and was in danger of being wrecked but was got off with only the loss of her rudder. She missed stays when entering the Hamoaze in the evening and drifted to leeward on to the Two Coves Rocks under the West Hoe but got off after about an hour and moored in the river.
  • On 30 June orders came down for ALCMENE and ELEPHANT to embark the 23rd. or Royal Welch Fusileers to join the troops on the islands of Houat and Hoedic in Quiberon Bay. However, when Gen. Maitland discovered that the French garrison on Belle-Ile numbered 10,000 men, he decided against attacking with an inferior force and re-embarked his troops. They went instead to Minorca.
  • 1801 Capt. S. SUTTON, with the Channel fleet. She returned to Portsmouth on 4 March and sailed again on the 14th. for the North sea.
    With Ad. Sir HYDE PARKER's squadron at Copenhagen on 2 April. Five seamen were killed during the action. Mr Henry BAKER, third lieutenant (act.); Lieut. Charles MEREDITH of the marines; Mr Charles CHURCH, Boatswain; Mr G. A. SPEARING, Master's Mate, and Mr PRATT, Pilot, were wounded as well as twelve seamen and two marines.
    Immediately after the battle Cdr. John Ferris DEVONSHIRE of DART was appointed acting captain of ALCMENE.
  • 1802 Capt. LAMBERT. He sailed from Portsmouth for Cowes on 30 January and returned on 27 May.
  • Capt. John STILES took command in the summer of 1802. On 24 September he returned to Portsmouth from the Texel and, on the 27th. received orders for Jersey. He sailed there with troops on the 12 October.
  • On 9 November ALCMENE and REVOLUTIONAIRE arrived in Plymouth with part of the 9th. regiment of foot from Sheerness. With a fair wind the passage only took 32 hours. The ninth were landed at Stonehouse and marched to Frankfort barracks.
  • ALCMENE paid off at Portsmouth during the morning of 28 January 1803 and re-commissioned. She and AMPHION then began recruiting seamen and, after going out of harbour on 13 March, sailed on a cruise on the 26th. She spent the next two years cruising in the Channel and on the Jersey station.
  • 1805 Capt. James BRISBANE, who had been commanding the Kent Sea Fencibles, was appointed to ALCMENE on the Irish station in the autumn.
  • On 4 January 1807, about 120 miles south-west of Cape Clear, ALCMENE captured the French privateer cutter COURIER (formally his Majesty's armed cutter ALERT). Originally pierced for 14 guns she now mounted seven of various calibre with a 42-pound and a 24-pound carronade. She had made no captures in the four days since leaving Morlaix.
  • ALCMENE moved with Lord GARDNER to the Channel fleet. Capt. BRISBANE moved to BELLE POULE in the spring of 1808.
  • 1808 Capt. William Henry Brown TREMLETT, 04/1808.
    In June, after consulting with the Spanish patriots at Corunna, he embarked the Galician deputies and took them to England to plead for British assistance. He returned them to Corunna with money and Sir Charles Stuart.
    On 22 December he chased two large French frigates for 130 miles and forced them to take shelter under St. Martin's on the Ile de Rhe. An attempt to cut one of them out was frustrated when his pilot ran ALCMENE aground.
  • On 29 April 1809, while chasing an enemy, she was wrecked on a reef of rocks near the Loire after capturing or destroying more than 50 enemy vessels around the coast. Capt. TREMLETT was acquitted of blame.


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