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EXCELLENT (74) Built in 1787, Harwich.
Reduced to 58 gun in 1820 as a training ship.

  • 1793 Capt. Hon. W. C. FINCH.
  • 1794 Capt. J. S. SMITH, 05/1794. Capt. WHITBY, 08/1794, with Vice Ad. CORNWALLIS's flag. Capt. MITCHELL, 10/1794.
  • 1795 Capt. COLLINGWOOD.
  • 1799 Capt. Robert STOPFORD, 01/1799.
    On 10 October 1799, in very thick weather, EXCELLENT was to windward of a convoy being escorted by IMPREGNABLE through the Bay of Biscay. A brig was seen standing towards the convoy which altered course as soon as she sighted the British ship. Capt. STOPFORD gave chase and, during the night, came up with the French corvette, ARETHUSE. Carrying eighteen 9-pounder guns and 135 men she was bound for Cayenne from L'Orient with dispatches which were destroyed before she was captured.
  • In 1800 EXCELLENT was employed with Sir Robert CALDER's inshore squadron blockading Brest.
    During the night of 29 October 1800 the boats of EXCELLENT under Lieut. BAIN cut out 3 brigs from a creek to the eastwards of Abervrack on the north coast of Finistere. One of the brigs mounted three carriage guns and made some resistance which was soon overcome by boarding.
    They were carrying biscuit and wood to Brest.
  • On 20 February 1801 Capt. STOPFORD sent his boats under Lieut. CHURCH to bring off a cutter and a sloop at anchor near the Point de Quiberon. Unknown to them a large chasse-maree taking troops to Belle Ile had come in during the dark and anchored near the other two and the resistance was much greater than they expected.
    Lieut. CHURCH was badly wounded and two men were killed in an unsuccessful attempt on the chasse-maree but Messrs. CRAWFORD and MANNING, midshipmen, in the other boats managed to bring off the cutter ARC carrying a detachment of troops who were made prisoner.
  • 1808 Capt. John WEST, Mediterranean.
    Off the coast of north-east Spain on the evening of 6 November 1808 the French were sighted some 5 miles inland at Figueras. By the following day were in command of the heights surrounding the Bay of Rosas and at noon a small body of troops entered the town of Rosas but they were immediately forced to retire by the point-blank fire of EXCELLENT and METEOR. Capt. WEST sent an officer and 25 marines ashore to Fort Trinite, an outwork of the citadel, and more marines with 50 seamen to reinforce Col. O'Daly in the fortress. The ships continued to fire on the French who were attempting to set up advanced posts in the town but a sortie by the marines and seamen on the 8th. was forced to retire by the superior force of the enemy with a number of casualties.
    On the evening of the 9th. part of the citadel wall fell down and an officer with a party of seamen had to be sent ashore to repair the breach under cover of METEOR and two boats with carronades.
    On the morning of the 15th. the enemy made two resolute assaults on Fort Trinite using 200 men. They were repulsed with the loss of 5 marines wounded but, expecting a third attack Capt. WEST sent in 30 more marines by means of a rope ladder.
    On the 20th. the enemy moved three guns to the heights overlooking the fort and hit the LUCIFER bomb three times as she threw her shells at them.
    (Lord COCHRANE of IMPERIEUSE took on himself the defence of Fort Trinite, but when the Spaniards surrendered the citadel on 6 December he had to evacuate after destroying the fort.)
  • On the morning of 28 July 1809 EXCELLENT was to the north-west of Trieste with the ACORN and BUSTARD sloops when an enemy convoy was seen standing along the shore towards that port.
    Capt. WEST immediately weighed and moved in to cut them off 12 miles from their destination, obliging them to take refuge in the port of Duin.
    In the afternoon they learnt from a coaster boarded by a boat from EXCELLENT that the enemy convoy was composed of six gunboats and ten trabaccolos laden with brandy and grain.
  • That night Capt. WEST detached the two sloops with all the boats of EXCELLENT Lieut. John HARPER and at noon the following day they returned with the enemy convoy having captured them all within half an hour.
    EXCELLENT lost two men killed, marines James KNOWLES and Peter PENDERGRASS, and two slightly wounded; William HUNTER, gunner's mate, and Benjamin WEBB, seaman.
  • 1811 Out of commission at Portsmouth.

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