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MEDIATOR (44) An Indiaman purchased in 1804.
Burnt as a fireship in 1809.

  • 1806 Capt. William Furlong WISE, who was posted out of the ELK sloop, 05/1806, Jamaica.
    When Capt. DACRES of BACCHANTE captured the French national schooner DAUPHIN on 14 February 1807 he and Capt. WISE conceived a plan to enter Samana in San Domingo by disguising BACCHANTE as a prize to the French schooner and MEDIATOR as a neutral.
    The enemy was deceived and they were able to get into the harbour and anchor within a mile of the fort before being discovered.
    After a heavy exchange of fire for four hours, the fort was stormed by seamen and marines under Capt. WISE with Lieuts. BAKER, NORTON and SHAW.
    They captured two French schooners, fitting out as cruisers and recaptured two prizes, one British, one American.
    MEDIATOR took the brunt of the fire from the fort and lost two men killed and 12 wounded.
    The fort and the guns were destroyed and the place evacuated on 21 February.
  • 1807 Capt. George REYNOLDS, Plymouth.
  • 1808 Capt. John PASCOE, coast of Portugal.
    He left her at the end of the year to join HINDUSTAN.
  • 1809 Capt. George William BLAMEY, armed en flute. She was employed carrying supplies to the different blockading squadrons.
    On 14 and 15 January ships of war and transports, including MEDIATOR, arrived off Corunna from Vigo to take part in the evacuation of Sir John Moore's army which was being hard pressed by the French, and the embarkation of the sick, the cavalry and the stores began immediately.
    The enemy attacked just as the general embarkation of the infantry began on the 16th. but they were held with heavy losses, including Sir John Moore, as the troops were taken on board in tempestuous weather.
    By the 17th. only 2,000 men of the rear guard were left ashore and, as the enemy had brought up cannon to command the town, they were brought off over the beaches during the night.
    After the evacuation was complete Capt. BLAMEY was attacked with a violent fever and ague and Capt. James WOOLDRIDGE was appointed to act for him until he recovered.
  • On 24 February 1809 Rear Ad. STOPFORD with a squadron of three sail of the line and one frigate discovered 14 French ships at anchor in the Basque Roads.
    He was soon reinforced and, on 7 March, Lord Gambier arrived to take command.
    He was told that fire ships were being sent out to him but when their arrival was delayed eight transports, including MEDIATOR, were selected for this use.
    They were packed with tar and resin from three captured chasse-maree.
  • At about half past eight on the very dark night of 11 April, with a strong wind blowing from the north-west, MEDIATOR and the other fire ships cut their cables and, with three explosion vessels, made sail towards the French off the Ile d'Aix.
    The fuses on some of the ships only burnt for one third the correct time and they were abandoned too soon but MEDIATOR, running before the wind and with a four knot tide, broke through the boom and her captain and crew only just escaped before she burst into flames.
    The French, in terror, cut or slipped their cables and by midnight thirteen of them were aground.
  • James SEGGESS, the gunner, was killed and Capt. WOOLDRIDGE, Lieut. Nicholas Brent CLEMENTS, Lieut. James PEARL and seaman Michael GIBSON were all burnt when they were blown out of MEDIATOR after she was set on fire.
    Capt. BLAMEY, in sick quarters, hearing that MEDIATOR was to be used as a fire-ship, made all haste to rejoin her but reached the fleet the day after she was burnt.
    So it was WOOLDRIDGE who was promoted to post-captain and received a gold medal and chain, and a sword from the Patriotic Society worth 100 pounds.
    The two lieutenants were each presented with a sword worth 50 pounds, CLEMENTS was promoted to commander, but James PEARL, BLAMEY's brother in law, had not not served sufficient time as a lieutenant.
    He followed BLAMEY into HARPY as his first lieutenant.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips