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AMPHION (32) 5th rate Built in 1780, Chatham DY.
Blown up in the Hamoaze in 1796.

  • 1780 Capt. BAZELY. He was appointed to AMPHION when APOLLO was put out of commission. North American station.
    On 10 September 1781 a small squadron under his command, in conjunction with General Arnold, completely destroyed the town of New London, together with stores and shipping in the harbour.
    He died, an Admiral of the Blue in 1806.
  • 1793 Captain H. SAWYER, 06/1793, fitting for sea at Plymouth.
  • 1795 Capt. Israel PELLEW. At first under the orders of Sir James WALLACE in Newfoundland, then cruising in the North Sea.
    Whilst on passage to join Sir Edward PELLEW's squadron of frigates employed off the French coast she was damaged in a gale and was obliged to put into Plymouth for repairs.
  • On 22 September 1796 AMPHION's fore magazine caught fire and the resultant explosion blew off the whole front end of the ship, pieces of wreckage and bodies being flung as high as the main-top-gallant mast head. Four of her main-deck guns were thrown on to the deck of the sheer hulk alongside. She sank immediately in 10 fathoms alongside the sheer hulk close to the dockyard jetty. Of the 200, including visitors, on board, not more than 40 were saved. The wife of a sailor was blown up with her child and the still living infant was found locked in her arms when her body was recovered.
    Capt. PELLEW and several of his officers, who were dining in his cabin with Capt. SWAFFIELD of the OVERYSSEL, ran out on to the quarter gallery next to the hulk when they heard the first rumblings.
    Capt, PELLEW was thrown into the air by the explosion, landing on the hulk's deck and receiving a severe blow to the head and his chest. The first lieutenant, badly wounded, was thrown into the water. Capt. SWAFFIELD, Lieut. John HEARIE, the Master, the Surgeon, the Gunner, the Carpenter, a lieutenant of marines and several midshipmen were all killed.
    The explosion, devastating to the AMPHION, had little effect on shore or on the ships lying nearby.
    It was believed that a gunner, engaged on stealing powder from the magazine, had dropped a light.
    PLYMOUTH in Nov. 1828.
    This day a party of shipwrights and others belonging to the yard in the act of cutting away such of the AMPHION's upper works, and stores, as the re-flux of of the tide would enable them to get at, discovered the body of a woman, jammed under the half deck, which they ineffectually endeavoured to get out.
    Presently after, a biscuit bag, apparently full, was observed, which, on inspection, was found to contain a considerable quantity of bread and about thirty pounds of gun powder.
    Hence it is inferred, that an illicit traffic of the ammunition of the ship had been on foot at the time of the disaster; and that to it, and it alone, is to be attributed the dreadful catastrophe.

    (Bath Chronicle 8 Dec. 1796 from Carole Carine.)

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