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FANTOME (18) A French privateer taken by MELAMPUS and DRIVER on 28 May 1810.
Lost in 1814.

    She was described by Capt. HAWKER of MELAMPUS in a letter to Admiral Sir John Warren, C-in-C Halifax station, as "a fine French corvette brig letter of marque, burthen 300 tons, with ports for twenty heavy carronades, and a complement of 74 men. She had made three captures." As measured she was 385 bm., 94 x 31 feet.
  • 1810 John LAWRENCE.
    Served on the North Sea station and on the coasts of Spain and North America.
  • During February 1813 FANTOME joined a squadron off the American coast consisting of SAN DOMINGO (74) (Admiral Sir John Borlase WARREN, C-in-C) MARLBOROUGH (74) DRAGON (74) and the frigates MAIDSTONE and STATIRA. The GUSTAVUS and HANNAH were taken by FANTOME on 24 February and CHRISTIANA and RACER in March, but her crew had to wait until 1818 to receive prize money.
    As the squadron was proceeding up Chesapeake Bay off the Rappahannock River on 3 April 1813 five enemy armed vessels were sighted and MAIDSTONE, STATIRA, FANTOME, MOHAWK and the HIGHFLYER tender chased them into the river. When the wind dropped the boats of the squadron were manned under the command of Lieut. PUCKINGHORNE of SAN DOMINGO and, after rowing 15 miles, they found four armed schooners drawn up in line ahead determined to give them a warm reception. The ARAB (7), was run ashore and boarded by two boats from MARLBOROUGH, LYNX (6) and RACER (6) were carried by the SAN DOMINGO's pinnace, and DOLPHIN was boarded by STATIRA's cutter and the MAIDSTONE's launch. The attacking party lost 2 killed and 11 wounded. FANTOME had no casualties. The one-armed Lieut. BRAND of SAN DOMINGO, who went in the boats as a volunteer, was unfortunate enough to lose his other arm in the action.
    Following the capture of the privateers, Sir John Warren continued his course up the Chesapeake. To penetrate the rivers at the head of the bay he instructed Rear Admiral COCKBURN to take under his orders MAIDSTONE, FANTOME, MOHAWK, HIGHFLYER and three of the prize armed schooners. The Vice Admiral also selected a detachment of 180 seamen and 200 marines from the naval brigade of the squadron, together with Lieut. Robertson of the Royal Artillery and a small detachment of that force from Bermuda.
  • When R. A. COCKBURN learned of the presence of stores of flour and military equipment at French Town on the River Elk on the 28 April he embarked in FANTOME and took MOHAWK and the three tenders DOLPHIN, RACER and HIGHFLYER as far up the river as was prudent in the dark and anchored.
    At 11 o'clock 150 marines and five artillery men left in the boats to destroy the stores, with Lieut. LEWIS following in HIGHFLYER as support. Unfortunately they were diverted into the Bohemia River and it was after eight o'clock on the morning of the 20th. before they reached their destination to find that the enemy had erected a 6-gun battery. This opened up on the boats as soon as they appeared but was soon silenced by their carronades. The stores, which consisted mainly of cavalry equipment, were burnt, as were five vessels.
    Later the same morning Capt. LAWRENCE embarked a quantity of cattle from the right bank of the river, giving the owner bills on the Victualling Officer. He then rejoined Rear-Admiral George COCKBURN in MAIDSTONE off the mouth of the Susquehanna river at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay.
    Here the sound of gunfire and the hoisting of the American flag were observed at a battery newly constructed at Havre-de-Grace. This gave the place an importance the Admiral had not previously attached to it and he therefore determined to attack and placed Capt. LAWRENCE in command of the operation.
    Preliminary soundings showed that only boats could approach the battery so at 12 o'clock on the night of 2 May they assembled alongside FANTOME to embark the detachments of marines, consisting of 150 men under Captains WYBORN and CARTER, and a small party of artillery-men under Lieutenant ROBERTSON. They then proceeded towards the land to take up positions for an attack at dawn. The DOLPHIN and HIGHFLYER tenders followed in support but the shoal water prevented their closing within six miles. Capt. LAWRENCE, however, kept up with the boats and organised their placing during the night so that, at dawn, heavy fire could be opened on the Americans from the launches and rocket boats.
    As the launches closed in the fire from the battery began to slacken and when Capt. LAWRENCE ordered the marines to land on the left the Americans began to withdraw towards the town.
    Lieut. WESTPHAL, first of the MARLBOROUGH, who was in a rocket-boat close to the battery, landed with his boat's crew, seized the guns and turned them on the previous owners.
    The marines then pursued the Americans into the town and, after an exchange of musketry drove them into the neighbouring woods where it was not considered prudent to follow them. A captain and an ensign of the militia were captured as well as some other armed individuals. The British then set fire to some of the houses, embarked the guns, 51 all told, from the batteries and destroyed about 130 small arms.
    A division of boats was then despatched up the river on a seek and destroy mission. They were followed by the Rear-Admiral who joined Capt. LAWRENCE in the remaining boats to search for a cannon foundry (The Cecil or Principio Foundry) known to be some three or four miles to the northward. They gained possession of it without difficulty and the remainder of the day was occupied with destroying the buildings and machinery and the guns they found there. The boats that had been sent up the Susquehanna returned after destroying five vessels and a large store of flour.
    The whole division re-embarked and returned to the ships by ten o'clock after being away for twenty-two hours. The only casualty was Lieut. WESTPHAL who was shot through the hand while he was leading the pursuit into the town. The gallantry, zeal and attention of Capt. LAWRENCE was particularly mentioned in the Admiral's official letter as was the behaviour of Lieut. REED of FANTOME.
  • On 29 April FANTOME recaptured the English brig ENDEAVOUR of 110 tons and 6 men which had been taken while carrying wine from Guernsey to Gibraltar. The ship SEAFLOWER was recaptured on 9 July.
  • On 5 October of the same year FANTOME captured the American privateer schooner PORTSMOUTH PACKET (formally the English privateer LIVERPOOL PACKET) off the Metimicas Islands. She was armed with five guns and carried a crew of 45 and had sailed from Portsmouth the previous day.
  • Capt. LAWRENCE was made a Companion of the Bath for his services.
  • On 21 January 1814 Lieut. Henry KENT, who had served in FANTOME since 4 August 1810, volunteered to serve on the Great Lakes and joined 210 volunteer seamen from FANTOME, MANLY and THISTLE.
    They left Halifax in FANTOME for St. John's, New Brunswick, on 22 January, cheered on by a large concourse of people, and arrived at St. John's on the 26th. During the four days on the passage the brig was a mass of ice as the seas froze when they broke over her.
    They left St. John's with sleighs, provided by the inhabitants, for Frederickston, a distance of 80 miles, in three divisions of 70 men. The first under Capt. COLLIER of MANLEY started off on the morning of the 29th. followed by Lieut. RUSSEL's men from MANLEY in the afternoon.
    FANTOME's contingent under Lieut. John KENT landed on the morning of the 30th. and were sent on their way by the band of the 8th. regiment. The following afternoon they reached Frederickston to find the others in barracks there. The men, having prize money in their pockets (some petty officers had up to 300 pounds), soon broke out into the town for the last opportunity of enjoying themselves. When they were rounded up they left in two divisions, Capt. COLLIER preceding Lieut. KENT by one day, along the ice of the St. John's river. Eighty-two miles further on at Presque Isle they exchanged the sleighs for toboggans, one between every four men, and everyone was fitted out with snow-shoes and moccasins. They started off again on 8 February making between 15 to 22 miles a day through knee deep snow. Two days out Lieut. KENT broke a finger in a fall on the ice.
    On the 18th. they crossed Lake Tamasquata, apprehensive at being in United States territory, to reach the St. Lawrence across the Grande Portage on the 20th. and eight days later they were opposite Quebec.
    The river was crossed in canoes the following day, Lieut. KENT falling through the broken ice up to his neck, and they took shelter in the AEOLUS frigate and the INDIAN sloop, frozen up in Wolfe's Cove.
    Kingston was reached on 22 March and a few days later Lieut. KENT joined the PRINCESS CHARLOTTE (42).
  • On 24 November 1814 FANTOME was wrecked without loss on the Halifax Station while escorting a convoy. A court martial held on 6 Decenber determined that she had been lost on a reef of rocks near prospect, some 20 miles S. W. of Halifax, through steering an incorrect course.

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