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MERLIN Purchased in 1803, ex HERCULES. An old collier fitted as a sloop of war, mounting 16 guns between decks.
Sold in 1836.

  • 1803 Edward Pelham BRENTON, 07/1803, Channel.
    While employed in harassing the French flotilla off Le Havre, he drove a French privateer lugger ashore on 27 October and destroyed her. She was the SEPT FRERES, mounting two carriage guns and manned by 30 men under the command of Citizen Pollet.
    The boats of the MERLIN were commanded by Lieut. Henry Clement THOMPSON who lost an arm during the Revolutionary War.
    He brought them all back on board safely.
    The lugger went ashore about half a mile to the westward of Gravelines; Lieut. STARCK anchored the MILLBROOK within a musket shot of her.
  • In December MERLIN, in company with the frigate SHANNON, Edward GOWER, left Cap de la Heve at the mouth of the Seine and stood across the bay towards la Hougue in a S. S. W. gale.
    At about eight o'clock a flash of lightning showed BRENTON he was close to land so he instantly wore under fore-sail and close-reefed main-top-sail.
  • Capt. GOWER was not so lucky.
    He had assumed that he was to the north of Cap Barfleur but the tide had taken her towards the Baie des Veys and SHANNON ran aground under some batteries.
    The crew were taken prisoner and the French made preparations to re-float her.
    Boats from MERLIN under Lieutenants John SHERIDAN and Henry THOMPSON went in under cover of darkness and succeeded in setting her on fire.
    In spite of heavy gunfire there were no losses and the frigate was burnt to the waterline.
  • MERLIN formed part of the squadron under Capt. R. D. OLIVER which bombarded La Havre on 23 July and 1 August 1804.
    On 17 December orders came down to Portsmouth that all ships bearing the Spanish flag were to be made prizes so MERLIN sailed with the news to the cruisers off the French coast. She and ARIADNE were forced to bear away from off Havre de Grace when they found themselves on a lee shore and came into Plymouth on the 28th. She returned to Portsmouth on 3 January 1805 and Capt. BRENTON was appointed to AMARANTHE.
  • 1805 Capt. FORBES, 01/1805, Gibraltar.
  • 1807 W. S.PARKINSON, 03/1806, when Capt. FORBES was appointed to RACEHORSE.
  • 1808 Portsmouth.
  • 1810 Receiving Ship at Portsmouth.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips