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    A flotilla of 13 local gunboats manned by merchant seamen, volunteers from colonial troops and negro slaves successfully thwarted a Spanish attempt on Honduras in September 1798. See MERLIN (16). A British flotilla operated on the Nile during the summer of 1801. The vessels were native djerms which had been fitted with a 24-pounders carronade and supported flatboats and boats from the squadron in Aboukir Bay. It was under the command of Capt. James STEVENSON of EUROPA. See FURY. In 1810 Cadiz was invested by a French army under Marshal Victor and a flotilla of gunboats was assembled by the enemy at San Lucar to assist in the capture of the city. They were manned by veterans of the Boulogne flotillas who had served on the Danube in 1809. In the summer of 1810 a company of shipwrights was sent out from England and a small boat-yard established. They constructed 10 boats and 9 others were brought in from Gibraltar; soon 30 boats, manned by the British squadron, were in action whenever the weather permitted in co-operation with the Spanish flotilla of gun and mortar- boats under Admiral Valdez.
    The British flotilla was commanded by Robert HALL and Thomas FELLOWS and, after their promotion to post rank, by Frederick Jennings THOMAS and William Fairbrother CARROLL. The gunboats were supported by the bombs AETNA, DEVASTATION, HOUND and THUNDER. (See MORS-AUT-GLORIA)
  • The officers who commanded gunboats in the flotilla were:- William Henry SMYTH, George Rose SARTORIOUS, James RATTRAY, William STYLE (gunboat No. 20), Frederick William ROOKE, Smith COBB, William HALL, George Woods SARMON, John Leigh BECKFORD, Daniel James WOODRIFF, Charles OKES, Robert Roper MARLEY, Henry WILSON, William Hollamby HULL, Charles BASDEN, John MATSON, George SANDFORD, Robert PURKIS, Thomas IRVINE, David Ewen BARTHOLOMEW, Edward WROTTESLEY (gunboat No. 5), Richard TREGENT. They were known as the 'Fire Eaters'.
    The following gunboats operated under the orders of Capt. FARQUHAR in DESIREE on the Heligoland station during the winter of 1813/1814. (See REDBREAST) No. 1, Lieut. Job HANMER; No. 2, Mr Thomas RICHES, mate; No. 3, Lieut. Charles Henry SEALE; No. 4, Lieut. Andrew TULLOCK; No. 5, Mr John HALLOWS, mate; No. 8, Lieut. Richard SOPER; No. 10, Lieut. Francis Darby ROMNEY; No. 12, Lieut. HENDERSON.
    When Capt. FARQUHAR arrived Cuxhaven on 28 November 1813 he found that Capt. GREEN of SHAMROCK had collected the squadron which consisted of DESIREE, SHAMROCK, BLAZER, PIERCERE, REDBREAST and the five gunboats. That same evening he ordered the gunboats to take a position above the Napoleon battery and bombard it in concert with the Russians. This continued during the following day and meanwhile the squadron landed guns to bombard the battery at Phare. As soon as the French saw this they offered to surrender.
    Gunboats Nos. 1 and 2 were dismasted at Gluckstadt and No. 2 had seamen Samuel SHARP and D. M'CARTHY wounded.

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