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COMUS (22) Built in 1806, Yarmouth.
Wrecked in 1816.

  • 1806 Capt. Conway SHIPLEY (from the Sea Fencibles in Ireland), 11/1806, was her first captain and at the end of the year Sir Samuel HOOD applied for her to be attached to his squadron about to sail on a cruise between Madeira and the Canary Is. She sailed from St. Helens on 1 January 1807 and was sent to cruise off Mogador.
    After about 6 weeks off the Barbary coast she moved to the Canary is.
    and intercepted two Spanish merchant ships, St. PHIIIP and N. S. DE LOS REMEDIOS.
  • In March 1807 her boats under Lieuts. George WATTS, Hood NIGHT and G. Campbell, RM
    attacked and brought out 6 brigs in the Puerto de Haz, Gran Canaria, which were protected by three land batteries.
    Lieut. CAMPBELL was the only person wounded. She escorted her prizes to Gibraltar and was involved in an action with the Algeciras flotilla in the Gut.
  • During the first week of May COMUS destroyed the Spanish lugger SAN FRANSISCO and the schooner LOUISA.
  • For three days from 5 May a large Spanish felucca had been lying under the protection of a strong fort and two batteries in the port of Gran Canaria when, on the night of the 8th. they were attacked by forty officers and men in three of COMUS's boats under Lieuts. WATTS and KNIGHT and Mr Jeaffreson MILES, master's mate. She was boarded by Lieut. WATTS in the cutter under musket fire from 30 or 40 soldiers.
    He received a bayonet thrust in the face but fought his way back on board and was wounded 13 times, five of them serious, before the deck was cleared.
    All the defenders, save seven, had either been killed wounded or forced overboard.
    before the other two boats arrived.
  • They cut her cables and started to tow her out (her sails had been taken ashore) when the soldiers in the fort started to haul on a hawser which had been fixed to her stern under water. She was dragged nearly under the muzzles of the guns before the hawser could be cut and batteries continued to fire at her until she was out of range.
  • She was the Spanish packet SAN PEDRO with a cargo of bale goods from Cadiz for Buenos Aires and had captured the English ship LORD KEITH bound from London to Mogador.
    One man from COMUS was killed and five wounded, twenty-one Spanish soldiers were taken prisoner.
    The Patriotic Society awarded Lieut. WATTS 100 and a sword worth 50.
  • On her return to England in July 1807 Capt. SHIPLEY was appointed to NYMPHE for the expedition against Copenhagen.
  • 1807 Capt. Edmund HEYWOOD, 07/OO, who was in bad health, which continued for some time afterwards.
    He died in Milford Haven in 1822.
    First ordered to fit out for Channel service COMUS was instead sent to Harwich to take three general officers and a convoy of transports to Elsinore.
  • When she arrived in the Sound she was sent in chase of a Danish frigate which had slipped through the British fleet.
    After a chase of 34 hours with a fine leading breeze she arrived within hail of the Dane, the FREDERICKSWOERN, off Marstrand in Sweden on 16 August. She refused to bring to and did not recover from COMUS's first broadside which was double-breached and treble-shotted.
    After 45 minutes Lieuts. WATTS and KNIGHT led the boarders which captured her.
    The Danish ship was armed with twenty-six Danish long 12-pounders, four 6's and six carronades.
    Of her 226 crew 12 were killed and 20 wounded, COMUS had only one man wounded.
    Lieut. WATTS took the prize to Copenhagen.
  • 1807 Capt. Hon. Joceline PERCY Spithead coast of Spain.
    she was part of Sir Samuel HOOD's squadron which occupied Madeira on 26 December 1807.
  • 1811 Capt. Matthew SMITH, Gibraltar.
    In February COMUS formed part of the fleet of ships-of-war and transports at Cadiz with which it was intended to land an Anglo-Spanish force at Tariffa.
    When the weather prevented the Spanish part from getting out of the Bay the troops under Gen. Graham were landed at Algeciras and marched to Tariffa where they were joined by the Spaniards when their ships got out on the 27th.
  • 1812 Ditto, Mediterranean.
  • 1814 Ditto, Portsmouth.
  • 1814 Capt. John TAILOUR, 10/1814, for Africa where he was employed in the suppression of piracy under the orders of Commodore Thomas BROWNE.
    The squadron destroyed two British slave factories and captured 30 slavers.
    COMUS was the first man-of-war to ascend the new Calabar river as high as Duke's Town where her boats captured 7 Portuguese and Spanish vessels with 550 slaves embarked, after a determined resistance.
  • 1816 Capt. James John BREMER, 05/1816, Halifax.
  • On the evening of 24 October the master assumed, from their reckoning and double altitude, that they were on the inner edge of the Green Bank off Newfoundland.
    A sounding of 25 fathoms agreed with the chart, but, for greater safety, since it was then blowing very fresh, he hauled her wind, with her head off shore, and stood on under easy sail although it was so foggy that only half the ship could be seen.
  • At a quarter to midnight the ship struck on a reef of rocks stretching about a mile into the sea from St. Shotts.
    The helm was immediately put down, and the sails braced aback to get stern way, when she was caught by a rock on the larboard quarter and bilged before the boats could be got out.
  • At a court martial on board ROCHEFORT in Portsmouth Harbour on 17 December Capt. BREMER was censured for not ordering further casts of the lead and the master for not suggesting it.
    The captain and his officers and crew were praised for their efforts to save the ship and for their conduct in the boats and on shore.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips