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KITE (16) Built in 1805, Brightlingsea (built of fir). Fourteen 24-pounders carronades and two long sixes with a total complement of 93.
Sold in 1815.

  • 1805 Joseph JAMES, 10/1805, Downs. She made a number of captures while serving under the orders of Commodore OWEN at Dungerness and in the early hours of 7 February 1807 she took the French privateer lugger CHASSEUR off the North Foreland. Fortunately KITE shot away the lugger's jib otherwise the chase would have been longer than an hour and a half. Three months old and commanded by Jaques Francois Fourmentier, only two of the privateer's 16 guns were mounted, the rest lying in the hold. She had sailed from Calais the previous morning with a similar lugger but had made no captures.
  • KITE joined the light squadron off Copenhagen on 22 August 1807 in action with Danish gun- boats and floating batteries. Although her efforts were praised by Admiral GAMBIER and she suffered damage from a number of hits, including a red-hot shot which narrowly missed the magazine, she was immediately ordered to return to her station at Leith. This meant that she lost her share of prize money and her officers a chance of promotion.
  • In the autumn of 1808 KITE and MINX were stationed in the Great Belt to afford protection to any British merchantmen. The DICTATOR (64) should have been with them but she was collecting water at Romsoe.
  • On 31 October 1808 one of KITE's boats with the master and 9 men was captured by the Danes and three days later KITE and MINX were at anchor in the Great Belt when they were attacked about 10 o'clock in the evening by 22 Danish gunboats out of Nyborg each mounting two long 24-pounders. KITE was short handed; in addition to the 10 captured, her second Lieutenant and six men were absent in prizes.
    While KITE's crew struggled to clear a small gunboat from under her bows the Danes approached within a musket-shot keeping up a heavy fire. In the absence of wind she scarcely had any steerage way but after an hour she managed to sink one gun-vessel and delivered a broadside into the others that had gathered around the spot. This deterred the rest who kept their distance until midnight when they ceased firing.
    MINX had only been hit twice and suffered no casualties but KITE had been hulled nineteen times and two men, including the purser, Mr Thomas THOMAS, had been killed. Thirteen had been wounded, including Capt. JAMES, but unfortunately many of them died later or had amputations. Capt. JAMES sailed to join his senior officer, Capt. Donald Campbell in DICTATOR and thence to Gottenburg to refit.
  • KITE returned to the Nore in February 1809 and then went back to the Baltic where Capt. JAMES was promoted into the ST GEORGE on 21 August 1809.
  • 1811 Benjamin CRISPIN, North Sea.
  • 1812 Lieut. George CANNING, 08/1812, Mediterranean, where he was employed in the Archipelago under the orders of Capts. Henry HOPE and John CLAVELL. Although the Admiralty refused to confirm his appointment he remained in command until July 1813.
  • In September 1812 KITE attacked a vessel under Turkish colours and had one man wounded. This resulted in a reprimand for her captain. He received another rebuke when he broke Turkish neutrality in March 1813.
  • On 15 June 1813 KITE's boats attacked some small vessels at the island of Kilidromi near the entrance to the Gulf of Salonika after having had apparently friendly intercourse with the inhabitants. KITE's boats were attacked by large stones dropped from the cliffs above and, of the 40 officers and seamen who manned the boats, 20 were killed and 18 wounded. Many of the killed were stoned to death as they lay badly wounded on the beach unable to run or swim, this included Mr WILLIAMS, the first Lieutenant, who had strict orders not to land, Mr EDGAR, the purser, and the senior midshipman.
  • On 23 July 1813 acting Commander CANNING was superseded by Rowland MAINWARING at Smyrna and received on board ORLANDO for passage to Malta and thence to England.
  • Capt. MAINWARING captured a French privateer and rescued a valuable merchantman she had taken. He also obtained a promise from the Bey of Salonika that privateers would no longer be fitted out in his harbours.
  • 1813 Sir Robert Cavendish SPENCER, He soon transferred to ESPOIR.
  • 1814 Thomas FORSTER, Mediterranean.
  • 1815 Deptford.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips