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ANSON (44) Built in 1781, Plymouth.
She was cut down from a 74 in 1794. (See INDEFATIGABLE for details)
Wrecked in 1807.

  • 1782 Capt. William BLAIR. She was with Admiral Sir George ROMNEY's fleet on 9 April 1782 at the battle of Les Saintes with de Grasse.
    Capt. BLAIR was killed when the battle resumed on the 12th. Only two post captains were killed on the British side (the other was Lord Robert MANNERS of RESOLUTION) compared with six on the French.
  • 1798 Capt. Philip Calderwood DURHAM, Channel.
    On 18 October ANSON, which had earlier lost her mizzen-mast, and main-lower and top-sail-yards during the chase of a French squadron off Ireland, and KANGAROO, captured the French frigate LOIRE. ANSON lost 2 men killed and 14 wounded.
  • She sailed from Plymouth on a cruise on 26 January 1799 and on 2 February, in company with ETHALION, captured the French privateer cutter BOULONAISE (14) from Dunkirk which had been greatly annoying the traffic in the North Sea.
  • The BAYONNAISE cutter, captured in the Bay by ANSON and ETHALION arrived in Plymouth on 9 February 1799. She was previously the SWAN Revenue vessel, Capt. SANSON, who was killed when she had been captured by a French privateer off the Isle of Wight some two years previously.
  • ANSON and PHOENIX sailed for Spithead on 25 February.
  • ANSON was occasionally in attendance on the royal family when they were at Weymouth. When Capt. DURHAM hosted a grand naval fete for their Majesties on board ANSON on 9 September 1799 the King could not be found when a courier brought off dispatches. He was eventually discovered, surrounded by the ship's company, on the lower deck talking to an old sailor.
  • She returned to Plymouth from the coast of France for a refit on 6 February 1800 and sailed again on a cruise on the 23rd.
    On 17 March she sailed from Portsmouth and passed through the Channel escorting the East Indies and Botany Bay convoys as far as 30deg N.
  • On 10 April when north west of the Canary Islands she detained the CATHERINE & ANNA, Capt. Spanger, bound for Hamburg from Batavia with a cargo of coffee. The prize arrived in Plymouth on the 22nd. The prize was allowed to sail again on 16 April 1801 after she was released by the Court of Admiralty on paying her own costs. She was again detained of the Eddystone by the TRENT frigate and was sent back.
  • Another prize, the VAINQUEUR, a letter of marque of 14 guns and 75 men, which was captured on 27 April while she was sailing from Bordeaux bound for San Domingo, arrived in Plymouth on 4 May. She had left ANSON on 30 April firing at a French privateer, La BRAVE, one of a squadron of four armed vessels, the others being DECIDE, GUIPPE and HARDI, all armed with 18 guns, and four days out of Bordeaux. After a chase ANSON captured HARDI, the others managed to escape by superior sailing. BRAVE lost 2 men killed when ANSON fired into her. The prize arrived at Plymouth on 10 May, the day after ANSON sailed into the Sound with 1200 letters from the East Indies convoy. HARDI, only 33 days off the stocks, was on her first cruise. ANSON left Plymouth on the morning of the 10th. to take her prisoners to Portsmouth.
  • ANSON later escorted a convoy to Gibraltar and Minorca and she was at anchor in Gibraltar on 27 June when a large enemy convoy of some forty or fifty sail was seen in the Straits. Capt. DURHAM immediately got under weigh and gave chase. The convoy was protected by twenty-five gunboats and shore batteries but with the help of two row boats from Gibraltar, eight of the enemy were captured although one was later retaken.
  • While she was escorting a convoy to Gibraltar ANSON was able, on 29 June, to cut off two of the Spanish gunboats which had been annoying the convoy for several days.
    The GIBRALTAR and SALVADOR mounted two 18-pounders in the bow and eight other guns and were manned by sixty men. They had first attempted to reach Ceuta but were then forced to run for the African coast where they ran on a rock and were captured when marines landed on the shore to support the boats. One of the prizes was found to have lighted matches with a powder trail leading to the magazine.
  • On 8 July ANSON detained the ALERT which had been bound for Boston from Cadiz. The prize arrived in Plymouth on the 16th.
  • 1801 Capt. DURHAM removed to the ENDYMION to be replaced by Capt. W. E. CACRAFT, 03/1801, Channel station, cruising from Portsmouth.
  • 1802 Mediterranean.
    In November 1802 ANSON sailed from Malta for Egypt at the end of November.
  • 1803 Ditto, Malta.
  • 1805 Under repair at Portsmouth.
  • 1806 Capt. LYDIARD, West Indies.
    On the morning of 23 August 1806 ARETHUSA and ANSON made a successful attack near Moro Castle in Cuba. The Spanish frigate POMONA had been sighted trying to get into Havana and Capt. BRISBANE of ARETHUSA signalled that the enemy should be boarded but she frustrated this move by bearing up and taking refuge within pistol shot of a castle mounting sixteen 32-pounders with a line of 12 gunboats in front of her. The two British vessels bore up towards the enemy, their sails and rigging suffering from the raking fire of the gunboats, and anchored alongside the POMONA. After a general action of 35 minutes the Spanish frigate struck, three of the gunboats blew up and six were sunk. The remainder were driven ashore. Lieut. PARISH, first of ARETHUSA, and Lieut. SULLIVAN, first of ANSON, then took possession of the enemy.
    Red hot shot from the castle started a fire in ARETHUSA which was soon put out but soon afterwards a tremendous explosion took place in the castle and all firing ceased. The POMONA had brought specie and merchandise from Santa Cruz; the money had been landed only ten minutes before the action began but the plate and other goods left on board were captured. ANSON suffered no casualties.
  • On 15 September 1806 ANSON encountered the French FOUDROYANT (84) under jury rig some 15 miles off Havana. Assuming that she had been damaged in action Capt. LYDYARD attacked but then after half an hour found that the French ship had only suffered from bad weather and retained all her fire power. He was forced to haul off after 2 men had been killed, 13 wounded, his sails and rigging had been badly damaged and the ships were drifting fast in shore.
  • On 29 November 1806 ANSON, LATONA and ARETHUSA, under the command of Capt. BRISBANE of the latter, sailed from Port Royal to attack Curacao but, because of adverse winds and currents they did not arrive off the island until the 1 January. On the way they were joined by FISGARD.
    Capt. BRISBANE's line of battle, sailing in close order, passed the sea batteries and anchored off the port where the Dutch HATSLAR (36) the SURINAM,22 and two large schooners were moored across the entrance which was only 50 yards wide. After a severe cannonade the Dutch vessels were carried by boarding, the forts and the town of Amsterdam by storm, and within 4 hours the British flag was hoisted in Fort Republique. Seven seamen from ANSON were wounded in the action.
  • ANSON was wrecked in Mount's Bay on 29 December 1807. The body of Capt. LYDIARD was picked up on 1 January 1808 and brought into Falmouth the following day for interment. Vice Ad. COTTON and the other naval and military officers in the port attended the funeral. The bodies of Lieut. HARRIES and Mr SMITH, the surgeon, were not recovered.

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