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BLOSSOM Built in 1806, Guillaum, Southampton.
Broken up in 1848.

  • 1807 R. PIGOT, fitting out at Portsmouth.
  • 1808 George DENCH, 04/1808, off Lisbon.
    George PIGOT, 08/OO, off Lisbon.
    On the night of 23 April 1808 the boats of BLOSSOM joined those of NYMPHE (36) in attempting to cut out the Portuguese GARROTA (20) which had been captured by the French and was lying under the protection of the guns of Belem Castle in the Tagus. Cdr. PIGOT took BLOSSOM's gig, Lieut. John UNDRELL her cutter and Lieut. William CECIL the launch. When Captain SHIPLEY of NYMPHE was killed as he boarded the GARROTA the attack fell into confusion and the boats, unable to row against a 7 knot ebbing tide, were forced to retire with one other killed and two wounded.
  • 1811 William STEWART, Mediterranean.
    BLOSSOM was 15 miles off Cabrera on the 23 February 1812 when a French schooner mistook her for a merchantman and came pretty close before realising her mistake. Shots from BLOSSOM brought her to after a chase of over four hours and she was found to be LE JEAN BART, launched at Marseilles five weeks previously and armed with five 12-pounders and two 6-pounders. She was commanded by Jean Francis Coulome with a crew of 106 men. She had sailed six days before on her first cruise and had made no captures but had been chased by two frigates and a brig, escaping each time by her superior sailing qualities.
  • On 29 April 1812 the guns of BLOSSOM covered a cutting out operation near the mouth of the Rhone.
    Boats from BLOSSOM joined those from UNDAUNTED (38) and VOLONTAIRE (38) in bringing out 7 and burning 12 from a convoy of 26 French vessels anchored near the mouth of the river. A boat from BLOSSOM captured and blew up two watch towers.
  • 1814 Joshua Ricketts ROWLEY, 09/1812, Mediterranean.
  • 1815 Portsmouth.
  • 1816 Woolwich.
  • 1818 Fred. HICKEY, 07/1817, Brazil.
    She returned home in 8 August 1819 with a large amount of specie.
  • 1825 Frederick William BEECHEY, 01/1825.
    On 12 January 1825 Capt. BEECHEY, who three years before had returned from an expedition to North Africa (see ADVENTURE), was appointed to BLOSSOM which was fitting out for a voyage to the Pacific and the Bering Strait.
    Here it was intended that she should meet up with either PARRY or FRANKLIN if they succeeded in finding the North West Passage. BLOSSOM carried a decked barge purpose built by Mr Peeke of Woolwich Dockyard.
    They touched at Teneriffe, Rio de Janeiro, Conception and Valparaiso before crossing to Easter Island.
    Here their boats were attacked by natives and a chief was shot as BLOSSOM's people made their escape.
    On his way to Pitcairn Capt. BEECHEY surveyed Ducie's (1.5 sq. miles) and Elizabeth or Henderson (12 sq.
    miles) Islands. These two uninhabited islands were annexed to Pitcairn in 1902. Henderson was the captain of a Calcutta trader.
    At Pitcairn they found the islanders were tall, robust and healthy. Two of the strongest, George Young and Edward Quintal could each carry more than six hundred weight. One woman, Polly Young, was measured as being five feet nine and a half inches tall.
    BLOSSOM took on several tons of water in casks which had been pushed out through the surf by swimming islanders.
  • Since they were now in an area where islands rose abruptly to the surface, the barge was manned to be kept ahead during the night. Under the command of Mr Thomas ELSON, former master of ADVENTURE, with Mr Richard BEECHEY, midshipman, and eight seamen and marines, she was provisioned for six weeks.
  • Lieut. BELCHER, Mr COLLIE, the surgeon, and Mr Edward BARLOW, midshipman, went off in a boat to examine Oeno Island about 90 miles north of Pitcairn. (Oeno was the master of a whaler but Henderson had already discovered the island). Mr BELCHE and Mr COLLIE managed to jump ashore on the low coral reef but the boat was hit by a series of rollers which flung it ashore and broke it in pieces. All of the crew managed to get on to the reef save for one young lad who was drowned. Boats were sent from the ship but they were unable to get through the surf. Lieut. John WAINWRIGHT, carrying a line, allowed himself to be washed ashore and the people were eventually got off, one by one, on a small raft.
  • On 2 January 1826 Capt. BEECHEY took formal possession of Gambier's Group (discovered by by the ship DUFF in 1797 and now, included with the Tuamotu Archipelago, part of French Polynesia).
    Off Clermont Tonnere BLOSSOM had a narrow escape from a waterspout which for a time threatened to pass over the ship. Lieut. BELCHER, away from the ship, found his boat so surrounded by lightning that he lowered the anchor several fathoms into the water and covered the seamen's muskets. Mr William SMYTH, admiralty mate, who was also away from the ship saw the water column descend in a spiral form to meet an ascending column a short distance from the sea.
  • BLOSSOM visited thirty-two islands in succession and found only twelve of them inhabited.
    From 18 March to 26 April 1826 she remained at Tahiti (Otaheiti) but, at the beginning of the following month, the officers and ship's company were attacked by dysentery. Mr John CRAWLEY was the first to die, followed by the captain's steward on 6 May. Mr George Lay, the naturalist, nearly died the following day.
  • On the 19th. BLOSSOM anchored off Honolulu in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). She sailed again on the 31st. and on 28 June, after covering more than 700 miles in a thick fog with visibility often down to 50 yards, entered Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka Peninsular in Russia. Here Capt. BEECHEY received dispatches from England telling of the failure of Capt. PARRY's expedition in HECLA and FURY.
  • BLOSSOM's next destination was Kotzebue Sound on the west coast of Alaska where they was due to rendezvous with FRANKLIN during the third week of July. The thick fog continued through the Bering Straits but fortunately they were able to take continuous soundings and on the 16th. in 31 fathoms the change of ground from mud to sand gave warning of their approach to St. Lawrence Island. Although they could hear surf on rocks they could not see the shore.
  • They passed through the Straits and sighted the Diomede Islands at a distance of 50 miles but the fog came down again and it was not until the next morning that the western Diomede was seen close to.
    They entered Kotzbue Sound on 22 July and the barge, under Mr ELSON, sent to examine an inlet on the northern shore which they named Hotham Inlet.
  • Up to the 23 August the weather continued favourable and a survey was made of the whole coast northward from Cape Prince of Wales to beyond Icy Cape but, when westerly winds combined with several hours of darkness, Capt. BEECHEY decided to return to Kotzebue Sound. The barge, which had been surveying around Icy Cape, was sent on an expedition to the eastward on the 17th. to see how far it was possible for a boat go.
    Mr SMYTH, the senior mate, accompanied Mr ELSON who had a crew of six seamen and two marines.
    They returned after 23 days having reached 156 deg 21 min 30 sec W. when they were stopped by ice which stretched from the land to the horizon. The farthest point they reached was only 146 miles from the extreme of FRANKLIN's progress westward from the Mackenzie River.
    Capt. BEECHEY named the Buckland River coming from the southward into Escholtz Bay and Mr Alexander COLLIE found fossil bones of elephants and other animals in the cliffs.
    On 8 October BLOSSOM lost another man to disease.
    By 14 October the ice in the sound had began to freeze so Capt. BEECHEY shaped course for the Bering Straits.
  • BLOSSOM visited California before sailing across the Pacific to Hawaii and Macao.
    After doing survey work in the China seas she was back in Petropavlovsky at the beginning of July and completed a survey of some of the harbours in the Kamchatka Peninsular.
    On her way to Kotzebue sound BLOSSOM lost a seaman overboard in bad weather and was nearly wrecked on the sand. The barge, which had been as far as Icy Cape before being stopped by ice, foundered in a sudden gale when she returned to the Sound with three men lost while Lieut. BELCHER and James WOLFE, mate, were ashore.
    On 29 September a part of Eskimos attacked a watering party and wounded two sailors and four marines with arrows before being driven off by gunfire.
    It snowed heavily on 4 October and the sea began to freeze so, on the 14th., BLOSSOM left Arctic waters for the last time and sailed south for Monterey and San Francisco in California.
    From here she surveyed the coast of Mexico from Mazatlan to several miles south of San Blas.
    When she arrived at Valparaiso on 29 April 1828 Capt. BEECHEY found orders to collect specie from various Pacific ports.
    One and a half million dollars was embarked on 3 June and BLOSSOM arrived at Spithead in September after a passage of 49 days from Rio. She paid off at Woolwich on 12 October 1828 after sailing 73,000 miles in three and a half years.
  • 1829 Richard OWEN, 05/1829, Surveying in the West Indies.
  • 1833 Quarantine Service hulk in Standgate Creek.

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