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ALGERINE Brig Built in 1829, Chatham (Cherokee class).
Sold in 1844.

  • Based on a design by Sir Henry Peake for the CHEROKEE of 1807, she was one of nine similar vessels built in the same year. At only 90 feet long and 25 feet beam, she carried a crew of 75.
  • Cdr. Charles TALBOT was appointed her first captain from 27 June 1829 having been transferred from the HELICON (10) after four weeks in command, due to the defective state of that vessel.
    Cdr. TALBOT was the son of the Dean of Salisbury and had been employed continuously at sea since his appointment as a midshipman in 1817. He later served as Flag Officer, Ireland and died as Admiral Sir Charles TALBOT KCB in the summer of 1876.
    When her new crew mustered alongside they found that ALGERINE was a mere shell. At that time the ship's company were responsible for stepping and rigging the masts, fitting tanks and hoisting into position the eight carronades weighing 10 cwt each and the two 6pdr long chase guns each weighing about 17 cwt.
  • Cdr. TALBOT took ALGERINE to South America where the British squadron was based at Rio under the command of Rear-Ad. Sir Thomas BAKER in WARSPITE.
    On 25 November 1830, he was promoted to the command of the flagship and he was succeeded in ALGERINE first by Capt. MARTIN and then by the 26 year old Cdr. Hon. John Frederick Fitzgerald DE ROOS who had travelled out to Rio as a passenger aboard the DRUID frigate.
    Cdr. DE ROOS was born at Boyle Farm in Surrey on 6 May 1804, the third son of Lord Henry Fitzgerald, and entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman at the age of 14. On his mother's side he was descended from Robert De Ros, one of the twenty-five barons who met King John at Runnymede.
    Cdr. TALBOT had replaced a Captain BURGESS who left Rio on 4 December 1830 in the frigate THETIS bound for England, having on board gold and silver worth 160, 000.
    Six days later Admiral BAKER received a letter from Capt. BURGESS: "Under the most poignant feelings of grief and distress, it is my melancholy duty to communicate to you the total loss of HMS THETIS on Cape Frio, (on 5 December) with everything belonging to her 0$ I trust you will make every allowance for this hurried statement, the causes being more unaccountable than anything I have met with in the whole course of my naval experience 0$"
    Ad. BAKER immediately set off with CLIO (18) ALGERINE and the launch from his flagship and found the wreck, some 180 miles along the coast, breaking up in a rocky cove exposed to the westerly gales. About 40 of the crew had got ashore when she first struck and they followed her along the coast and rescue all but 28 of her people.
    Leaving ALGERINE on guard he returned to Rio where Capt. DICKINSON of LIGHTNING (18) (later renamed LARNE) suggested and later carried out, a salvage scheme which involved the construction of diving bells out of two iron tanks from WARSPITE which were suspended first from a massive derrick and then from cables stretched across the cliff tops.
    DICKINSON worked at the salvage until March 1832 when LIGHTNING was ordered home. DE ROOS in ALGERINE then took over and completed the operation in July. Between them the two salvers succeeded in raising 157, 000 worth of precious metal, which had been scattered over the rock-strewn cove at depths between 40 and 70 feet, using only the resources available in the ships of the squadron.
    ALGERINE returned to Chatham to pay off on 3 December 1833.
    Capt. BURGESS had been tried by court martial in 1831 and sentenced to lose one year's seniority.
    The arguments over salvage awards rumbled on for many years. The total awarded was 54, 800 with the Admiralty deducting 13, 800 for the use of their ships and the court taking 12, 000 for costs. DICKINSON was still contending in 1854, the year before his death, that the whole award, less costs, should have gone to the crews of the two ships.
    Capt. De ROOS was promoted to post captain February 1835, retired on half-pay as a Rear-Admiral in 1857 and died in the spring of 1861 at the early age of 57.
  • Meanwhile ALGERINE, commissioned by Junior Lieut. George C. STOVIN in June 1834, had sailed for service on the East Indies station where she was to spend the rest of her life. Lieut. William Sidney THOMAS took command in August 1835.
  • At the end of 1838 while ALGERINE was at Madras with WELLESLEY, 72, the flagship of the new C. in C. Admiral Sir Thomas MAITLAND, trouble was brewing in China.
    Since 1757 British traders had been confined to 13 warehouses in Nanking (the 'Factory') where corrupt local officials connived at the illegal importation of opium from India. On 10 March 1838 the Emperor appointed a new commissioner to stop this smuggling.
    WELLESLEY and ALGERINE arrived off Macao on 12 July and at the end of the month a British ship, the BOMBAY, was boarded and searched by a Chinese patrol. WELLESLEY, in company with LARNE, 16, ALGERINE and the cutter LOUISA, at once made sail for the Bogue (or Bocca Tigris) at the mouth of the Canton River and anchored off Chuenpee on 4 August. The presence of the squadron produced a change of heart and end to provocation by the Chinese.
  • Early in 1839 threats of a Russian invasion through Afghanistan were countered by a military expedition to replace the Afghan ruler. When passage for the army through Sind was refused, an operation was launched to capture Karachi and on 2 February the landing of a naval force assisted by troops from India was covered by WELLESLEY (74) and ALGERINE.
    he town surrendered the following day.
  • Lieut. Thomas Henry Mason took over command of ALGERINE on 26 March 1839.
  • The uneasy truce was being broken in China with attacks on British ships and property and the Canton factory was abandoned in favour of Hong Kong. The British government decided to send a fleet to occupy a number of Chinese ports before making demands on the Emperor and early in May 1840 a squadron assembled at Singapore consisting of WELLESLEY, CONWAY, ALLIGATOR, cruiser, LARNE, ALGERINE and the trooper RATTLESNAKE. Twenty-six transports carried troops and artillery. Other vessels were on their way from the Cape and New South Wales and a rear supply base was set up at Trincomalee.
    Worried by the approaching monsoon season Commodore BREMER decided not to wait for Admiral ELLIOTT to arrive and sailed with what ships he had on 30 May.
    When they arrived off the Canton river in June Commodore BREMER established a blockade then sailed north to Chusan, the capture of which island would facilitate the blockade of the Yang-tze Kiang.
    There WELLESLEY, CONWAY and ALGERINE destroyed a number of junks and troops landed to occupy the town of Tinghai. Lieut. MASON was mentioned in dispatches for his part in the action.
    On 7 July the C. in C., Rear-Ad. ELLIOTT, arrived in MELVILLE (74) towed by a steamer and, in his eagerness to join in, ran his ship ashore and tore off part of her keel. He shifted his flag to WELLESLEY leaving MELVILLE to be repaired and re-floated.
    Through the summer the British negotiated, the Chinese reinforced and the soldiers on Chusan died of fever.
    ALGERINE accompanied CONWAY some 60 miles up the Yang-Tze surveying the course of the river. While she was sailing along the coast past the town of Chapoo she was fired on from a fort mounting a large number of guns. ALGERINE engaged the batteries for three hours, nearly expending all her ammunition before she silenced them.
  • The next action in which ALGERINE was involved was the capture of Canton in May 1841. Together with the cutter STARLING she forced a way though the barriers of rafts that the Chinese had strung across the river then, followed by two tenders and a flotilla of about 40 boats, they attacked and captured a strong battery and put to flight a number of war junks.
    On 24 May a large force of ships and boats landed about 2,000 troops and 1,000 seamen and marines to attack Canton.
    ALGERINE attacked a fort to the eastward and immediately came under heavy fire. The boats of HYACINTH, MODESTE, cruiser, PYLADES and COLUMBINE were sent to her support.
    They at once pushed for the shore and, under the fire of 11 guns and musketry, stormed the fort.
    Second master Joseph HIGGS and Mate DOLBY were praised for their great courage during the action.
    The next morning, after great exertion, MODESTE was got over the bar and she was joined by ALGERINE.
    Since no other vessels could join them, the ATLANTA steamer having grounded, three of the captured junks were fitted with shell-guns and the force opened fire on the French fort and cleared out the enemy allowing a storming party to land.
  • On 26 August ALGERINE took part in the capture of Amoy. WELLESLEY and BLENHEIM anchored opposite the strongest batteries leaving ALGERINE, cruiser, PYLADES and COLUMBINE to cover the landing of the troops.
    After the capture of the city a garrison was placed on the island of Goolongsoo which commanded the harbour and ALGERINE and PYLADES were left for their support.
  • Lieut. MASON was promoted commander on 8 June and he was succeeded by Lieut. William Heriot MAITLAND on 10 October.
    Thomas MASON lived well into his nineties dying, a full Admiral, in the spring of the year 1900.
  • The fleet wintered at Chusan and there was little activity until, on 17 May 1842, ALGERINE, STARLING, COLUMBINE and PLOVER covered the landing of troops to capture Chapoo.
  • In June an attack was mounted on Woosung at the mouth of the Yang-Tze by a fleet of 14 ships under Rear-Ad. Sir William PARKER.
    All the ships were towed into their stations by steamers lashed alongside them with the exception of ALGERINE, which stood in under sail.
    On the 16th. the forts were bombarded and after two hours firing detachments of seamen and marines went in.
    A small party, under Lieut. MAITLAND, landed from ALGERINE, and before aid could be sent, suffered a number of casualties from the overwhelming force he had chosen to attack.
  • The following month ALGERINE joined a fleet of 18 warships, 9 East India Company steamers and 40 transports carrying 9,000 troops, and on the 21st. the troops and a small naval brigade were landed to capture the town of Chingkiang.
  • At the beginning of September everything was ready for an attack on Nanking but the Chinese sued for peace and by 29 September the war was over. The Treaty of Nanking opened more ports to British trade and gave Britain sovereignty over Hong Kong.
  • ALGERINE was sold on 30 April 1844.

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