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CAMELEON (18) Built in 1795, Rotherhithe.
BU in 1811.

  • 1799 J STILES, Spithead for Lisbon.
    With TIGRE (80) and THESEUS (74) formed Lord Nelson's squadron off Alexandria under Sir Sidney Smith.
  • 1800 Lieut. J.
    On 28 April 1800 he joined Nelson off Malta with dispatches.
    CAMELEON, under Lieut. JACKSON as acting captain, was employed with the 5th. Rate SANTA DOROTEA and the Neapolitan brig STROMBOLO on the blockade of Savona.
    Their boats rowed guard for 41 nights before the 800 men in the fortress capitulated due to famine.
  • 1801 Edward O'BRYEN, Mediterranean.
    With TARTARUS, FURY, PETREL, MINORCA and a number of cutters and gun vessels, CAMELEON covered the landings at Aboukir Bay which started at 9 AM on 8 March 1801.
    Lieut. SPENCER of CAMELION commanded one of the armed launches which followed up the lake on the flank of the army.
    The initial assault by 6,000 troops and 1,000 seamen drove back the French from the beach.
  • 1801 Frederick Lewis MAITLAND.
    In September 1801 CAMELEON's cutter and jolly boat commanded by Lieut. Charles SPENCER and master's mate Charles ROYER succeeded in bringing off from the beach near Tarragona a Spanish felucca mounting two 6-pdr guns and two swivels.
    The guns of two others were thrown overboard when it was found impossible to get them afloat under musket fire from soldiers on the beach.
    The three had run themselves ashore when threatened by the single 6-oared cutter, Mr ROYER not having come up with Lieut. SPENCER at the time.
  • 1803 Thomas STAINES, 05/1802, (confirmed in 07/1802) Mediterranean.
  • On 28 June 1803 CAMELEON joined Lord Nelson off Toulon and was then sent to Barcelona, ostensibly to buy bullocks, but actually to obtain information on Spanish intentions. She returned to the Toulon blockade on 2 August and captured 9 merchantmen and also a French packet which was sailing from Corsica to Toulon.
    On 29 August her boats attempted to capture 5 vessels protected by batteries at Rimasol.
    Lieut. Thomas BENNETT had his clothes and hat shot through and every person in his boat, except for himself, two men and a boy, was either killed or wounded.
  • On 16 November, while lying nearly becalmed off Cape Corse, Capt. STAINES discovered an armed schooner escorting a transport.
    CAMELEON's boats were manned and succeeded in capturing the schooner, the 12-gun RENARD, which was afterwards commissioned as a British cruiser.
  • From this period until August 1804 CAMELEON was employed on the coast between Genoa and Marseilles.
    Off the later place she chased a large corvette and a brig back to their anchorage.
    During the cruise she captured 10 vessels, one was destroyed at Port Maurice and she assisted at the capture of 3 others.
  • From September 1804 she spent an unproductive 3 months cruising in the Adriatic and from December 1804 to April 1805 she was employed protecting the Levant trade and escorted a large convoy from the eastern Mediterranean to Gibraltar.
  • On 15 June 1805, while lying becalmed, she was attacked by a flotilla of gunboats but they retreated when CAMELEON got out her sweeps.
    When stationed off Cartagena with BEAGLE, Capt. STAINES tried to cut out 6 merchantmen protected by a guarda-costa but they were too well armed and his boats had to return with 5 killed wounded and missing.
    On 15 August 1805 Capt. STAINES was forced to throw carronades, shot and stores overboard to escape from a Spanish 74-gun ship.
    When capture seemed imminent he was saved by the appearance of four British brigs.
    In the summer of 1805 CAMELEON, being worn out, was ordered home and she paid off at Portsmouth in September.
  • 1806 Out of commission at Portsmouth.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips