Purchased in 1804.
Renamed VOLCAN0, bomb, in 1810.
Sold in 1816.
- She was a merchant ship when purchased by the Admiralty and still had her original masts and yards.
Under-canvassed, she was slow and, now that her hold was generally empty, she rolled prodigiously.
The purchase of a number of similar ships was necessary because of the disposal of so many sloops-of-war during the short lived Peace of Amiens when the French rearmed and the British disarmed.
- 1804 John EDGECOMBE, 06/1804.
At the end of the year he escorted a convoy of merchantmen from England to Barbados.
- In Barbados he had a decision to make.
There was an enemy fleet reported among the Windward Islands which could threaten Barbados but, on the other hand, in Carlisle Bay was a fleet of 28 merchantmen and two transports requiring protection.
- Risking a court martial for leaving his station without orders, he decided to escort the convoy.
Five of the ships parted company for Halifax, others, going up the St. Georges Channel, were met by ARGUS off Cape Clear.
HERON accompanied the remainder to the Downs where they arrived on 2 August 1805.
The masters of 19 of the ships signed a letter on his behalf to the Admiralty but they had already approved of his action.
- Since he was unable to catch an enemy cruiser, Capt. EDGECOMBE decided to use his mercantile appearance to lure them to him.
- While on passage to Antigua with a convoy he noticed a schooner approaching.
So he hoisted American colours and dressed a midshipman as a woman.
The schooner showed French colours and ran in close to him, to be received with a volley of musketry as the English ensign was hoisted.
- Unfortunately the enemy was too low for HERON's guns and her rolling made it impossible to secure a grapnel, so the schooner escaped.
The MATILDE (18) she was later taken by the CAMBRIAN.
- HERON was constantly employed escorting convoys to Halifax, Newfoundland and Bermuda until Cdr. EDGECOMBE's health was impaired.
He left her in December 1806 and six months later made Post and was appointed to BLANCHE.
- HERON remained out of commission until she was converted into a bomb and renamed VOLCANO.