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MARS (74) Built in 1794, Deptford.
Broken up in 1823.

  • 1795 Capt. Sir Charles COTTON.
    He was with Vice Ad. CORNWALLIS's squadron of five sail of the line and two frigates off Brest on 16 June when they were chased by a French fleet of 13 sail of the line, 14 frigates, two brigs and a cutter (see BELLEROPHON).
    MARS and TRIUMPH brought up the rear and the former had her masts and spars badly damaged by shot and had twelve men wounded; TRIUMPH too was damaged and received several shot in the hull, but had no casualties.
  • 1797 Capt. Alexander HOOD, 02/1797, after Sir Charles had been advanced to Rear Admiral.
    MARS pursued and captured the French 74 HERCULE on 21 April 1798.
    When Lieut. BOWKER boarded her after she had asked for quarter he was met by about 60 hostile Frenchmen.
    Capt. HOOD was mortally wounded during the action Capt. MANLEY, 07/1798.
    Capt. MONKTON, 05/1799.
    On 22 February 1800 Rear Ad. BERKELY arrived in Portsmouth from town and hoisted his flag in MARS. She went down to St Helen's on 3 April to wait for a favourable wind and finally sailed to join the Channel fleet on the 23rd.
  • She was the advanced ship of the flying squadron off Brest.
    On 23 July her crew painted her from stem to stern while in sight of the French fleet.
    MARS returned to Plymouth on 3 August and sailed back to the fleet on the 12th.
    On 27 September MARS returned to Plymouth with the rest of the fleet due to the very heavy gales of wind.
    They anchored in Cawsand Bay.
    At the end of November Capt. LUKE of NAMUR was appointed to succeed Capt. MONKTON.
    Rear Ad. BERKLEY was promoted from Blue to White on 1 January 1801 and Rear Ad. THORNBOROUGH was appointed to MARS with Capt. LLOYD and she sailed from Portsmouth to Plymouth on 17 January.
    MARS and CENTAUR were paid wages and prize money on 25 March.
  • On the night of 10 April MARS ran foul of CENTAUR off the Black Rocks. She carried away her head, bowsprit, fore-mast and main top-mast and CENTAUR lost her main and main top-mast.
    CANADA took MARS in tow but, when he found that the two ships were drifting towards a lee shore, Capt. DE COURCY cut the tow and prepared to take the officers and men off MARS.
    A fortunate shift in the wind at the last moment enabled MARS to haul off the shore by using a sail on the stump of the jury foremast and CANADA resumed the tow bringing MARS into Plymouth on the 20th.
    CENTAUR, which had lost two men killed and four wounded by the falling mast had arrived under jury rig six days earlier.
    A court martial was held at Plymouth on board CAMBRIDGE on 19 April to apportion blame.
    Capt. LLOYD of MARS and Lieut. BURNET of CENTAUR were honourably acquitted and Lieut. DAVIS of CENTAUR was sentenced to lose 6 months seniority and dismissed his ship.
  • After re-fitting MARS went from the Hamoaze into Cawsand Bay on 25 April and sailed on the 30th. to relieve CAESAR on the Black Rocks station. She sailed for home on 21 September with ROBUST and they arrived in Plymouth on the 26th.
    At the beginning of November MARS, anchored in Cawsand Bay, parted all her cables during a gale and had to put to sea to ride out the bad weather; she came back in on the 10th.
  • MARS was paid on 3 March 1802 and on 11 April orders came down from the Admiralty that MARS was to go up the harbour to be stripped and paid off.
    The following day she went up the Hamoaze and Ad. TOORNBOROUGH struck his flag and set off for London. She was in dock until 25 August when, in the forenoon, she was brought out to make room for the COMMERCE DE MARSEILLES and received some damage which hogged her a little.
    The COMMERCE was to be broken up.
    MARS had to be re-docked for repairs which were completed by 14 December. She came out of dock on the morning tide and went into ordinary in the River Tamar.
  • 1803 Capt. SUTTON.
    Work started on re-fitting MARS in the Hamoaze at the end of February 1803 and on 21 March a Captain, three subalterns, six sergeants and 100 rank and file of the Royal Marines embarked on MARS in the forenoon, having marched from Mill Bay Barracks to the North Jetty Stairs in the Dockyard.
    Experience had shown that marines were very useful in rigging and getting ready for sea, ships put into commission.
    By 2 April the lower and upper masts were up, capped, rigged overhead and and all the standing and running rigging set up.
    Provisioning was nearly completed and seamen for the fleet were expected hourly.
  • On 25 April the Master Attendant's boat rowed alongside MARS and SPARTIATE and the King's pilots took charge of both ships.
    They went through the Narrows into the Sound and came to their moorings in Cawsand Bay to join the squadron of observation there.
    MARS, with TONNANT, SPARTIATE, BOADICEA and three sloops sailed on a cruise on 1 June.
    In July information was received from a neutral that Ad. DE WINTER had left Ferrol with three men-of-war for the Cape of Good Hope.
    Orders were sent to MARS and TONNANT, then off Spain, to pursue them.
    The search was fruitless.
  • On 24 November JAMAICA, turning out of Cawsand Bay, ran foul of MARS and FOUDROYANT.
    MARS and FOUDROYANT attempted to sail on the evening of 6 January 1804 but it was a flat calm which continued through the next day.
    It was not until the 8th. that they were able to sail to join the Channel fleet.
  • 1804 Capt. George DUFF, 04/1804, who joined MARS off Ferrol.
    During the following winter she was employed in the blockade of Rocheforte and Brest.
    MARS went into Plymouth for a refit on 17 February 1805 and from 22 May she was detached from the grand fleet to cruise off Cadiz under the orders of Lord COLLINGWOOD until NELSON arrived from England to take command.
    Capt. DUFF was then placed in command of a detachment between the inshore squadron and the main fleet to repeat signals.
  • The detachment was recalled on the morning of 21 October and ordered to take their proper places in the line of battle.
    MARS was ordered to lead the lee division but she was overtaken by BELLEISLE and ROYAL SOVEREIGN. She came under heavy raking fire from two French and two Spanish 74s and later engaged a third French 74.
    A raking broadside from one of her first opponents then almost cleared the poop and quarter deck of officers and men.
    Capt. DUFF was struck by a shot which knocked off his head and killed two seamen behind him.
    MARS lost 29 killed including Messrs. Alexander DUFF, master's mate, and Edward CORBYN and Henry MORGAN, midshipmen.
    The 69 wounded included Lieuts Edward William GARRETT and James BLACK, Capt. Thomas Norman RM, Mr Thomas COOK, master, and Messrs. John YOUNG, George GUIREN, William John COOK, John JENKINS and Alfred LUCKRAFT, midshipmen.
  • 1806 Capt. Robert Dudley OLIVER.
    Channel fleet.
    On the night of 27 July MARS, with other frigates of Capt. KEAT's squadron in the Bay of Biscay, gave chase to four enemy frigates. She lost sight them and the British squadron soon after dark, although AFRICA was seen burning false fires about 11 o'clock.
    Capt. OLIVER's assumptions of the course taken by the French proved correct in the morning when they were discovered on the same bearing as the night before.
    When MARS appeared to be gaining on the rearmost ship the French commodore turned to form line of battle, but then made off with three of the ships, leaving the other to continue her course under an extraordinary press of sail.
  • By 6 o'clock in the evening, when the chase had covered more than 150 miles, MARS caught up with her in the midst of a violent storm of wind.
    After a single shot, and just as MARS was about to open her broadside, the French ship struck her colours. She proved to be the 44-gun RHIN with 18-pounders on the main deck, six guns and a bower anchor were thrown overboard during the chase.
  • Commanded by Capt. Chesneau with a crew of 318 men she was returning to France from Puerto Rico with HORTENSE, HERMIONE and THEMIS.
    The bad weather prevented MARS from continuing the chase after the other three.
  • 1806 Capt. LUKIN, Channel fleet.
    On 25 September MARS was part of a squadron under Sir Samuel HOOD (CENTAUR, REVENGE, MONARCH) which fell in with a French squadron off the Chasseron lighthouse.
    After forming line the signal was made for a general chase and at daylight the enemy were seen to be five frigates and two corvettes.
    MONARCH fired a few chase shot and MARS was ordered to pursue the weather-most frigate which, with two corvettes, had edged away to the south-east.
    MONARCH's sails and rigging were crippled in a heavy exchange of fire before CENTAUR came up but about noon three of the enemy struck.
    MARS meanwhile had captured her chase and returned with her prize to capture the French Commodore's ship.
  • The French ships captured: GLOIRE (46), INDEFATIGABLE (44) MINERVE (44) and ARMIDE (44) were crowded with troops which had been at Rochefort the previous evening.
    THAMISE (44) SYLPHE (18) and LYNX (18) escaped.
    The total British casualties were 9 killed and 32 wounded, none of whom were in MARS.
  • 1808 MARS joined the fleet under Ad. SAUMAREZ sent to the Baltic to support the Swedes against the Russians.
    The fleet arrived in Gothenburg in April and on 17 May they were joined by an English army of 10,000 men.
    The army returned home in July without disembarking.
  • In August the Swedes, with CENTAUR and IMPLACABLE, put to sea to attack the Russians.
    The Russians retreated at once and were engaged by the two British ships before taking refuge in Rager Vik.
    On the 30th. Ad. SAUMAREZ arrived with VICTORY, GOLIATH, MARS and AFRICA and they blockaded the port for a month.
    The English fleet left Karlskrona on 25 October, stopped in Gothenburg between 29 November and 3 December and reached the Downs on 8 December.
  • 1811 Capt. Henry RAPER, Lisbon later off Flushing.
  • 1812 Ditto, Baltic. She was put out of commission during February/March 1813.

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