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NAUTILUS (18) Built in 1804, Milford.
Lost in 1807.

  • She was the first vessel to be launched at the dockyard at Milford.

    This was closed during 1814 when the owner of the land needed for extensions made exorbitant demands.
  • 1804 Capt. George ALDHAM, 04/1804, Channel. She came into Plymouth for the first time on 8 May.
  • NAUTILUS entered Plymouth Sound on 28 August 1804 with the WILLIAM HEATHCOTE, 600 tons, of Liverpool, carrying 30 men.
    This ship, which had been bound for Liverpool from Demarara with a cargo of 1,400 bales cotton and 125 casks of sugar, worth 80,000 pounds, had been taken by a French privateer dogger, GENERAL AUGEREAU, in the Irish Channel on 4 August.
    Although the merchantman had 20 guns against the Frenchman's 12 the privateers used their superiority in numbers 190 to 30 to board.
    The captain, Thomas PHILLIPS, was killed as, according to some accounts, was the captain's young son, a lad of 12, who was thrown overboard.
    The survivors were taken into the privateer and a prize crew in the WILLIAM HEATHCOTE bore away for Spain where they fell in with NAUTILUS off San Andero on the 9th.
    and she was retaken.
  • Mr BAMBER of NAUTILUS was appointed prize master of the WILLIAM NEATHCOTE and on 24 August he wrote to Capt. Moses Joyson of Liverpool with news of her recapture to be passed on to her owners, Neilson & Co.
  • " 00.
    I am proud in saying that she was by no means given away, as they gallantly defended her till the last, against a superior in number, in which Capt. Phillips, Mr Shepley and two men were killed.
    Mr Frazer, a passenger, Mr Kewley, the mate, and several men were wounded.
    Mr F. was fortunate enough in being left on board the WILLIAM HEATHCOTE with three of the wounded men and the major part of the ship's company; and I am happy to say they are in a fair way of recovery.
    Mr Kewley, the French officers say, killed three men with his own sword.
    He is on board the privateer, which I am very sorry for, as his brother was a most particular friend of mine.
    Mr F. received two musket balls which was nearly affecting his life; one our surgeon extracted since he has been aboard this ship.
    I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you at Plymouth to take the WILLIAM HEATHCOTE to Liverpool. She is much shattered in her hull and her deck and ropes are steeped with blood, much to the honour of them that fell in defence of her."

  • The WILLIAM HEATHCOTE was escorted to Liverpool on 2 October by COCKATRICE.
    The underwriters and the agents for NAUTILUS settled her average for the recapture at 36,000 pounds for the cargo, and 8,000 pounds for the hull, stores and tackle.
  • On 12 September Capt. ALDHAM detained the American ship COLOMBE of Boston, Capt. Iday, which was bound for Dunkirk with tobacco and staves.
    He sent her into Plymouth the following day.
  • ALDHAM was promoted to post captain on 20 February 1805 and replaced by: 1805 John SYKES, 08/3/1805, out of HECLA, Channel Fleet and Mediterranean.
    When he was promoted to post captain on 22 January 1806 he was succeeded by:
  • 1806 Edward PALMER, 01/1806, Mediterranean.
  • In May 1806 her boats under Lieut. Alexander NESBITT supported those of the frigate RENOMMEE in a successful attack on the Spanish schooner GIGANTA which was lying under the protection of the guns of Torre de Vieja with boarding netting up.
  • At the beginning of January 1807 NAUTILUS left the Hellespont with dispatches for the C.-in-C. off Cadiz.
    On the evening of 4 January they passed between the islands of Falkonera and Andimilos and, being sure of his position, PALMER decided to press on through the night in spite of having no pilot.
    At 2.30 on the morning of Monday the 5th. they sighted high land which they assumed to be Cerigotto (Andikithira).
    Despite carrying little sail, they were making 9 knots in a strong wind and a following sea when, two hours later, the ship was dashed on a rock and started to break up.
    An hour before dawn the main mast came down and the survivors were able to crawl along it to a small rock above water.
  • With daylight they discovered that they were on a small rock not more than 200 to 300 yards across and barely above the surface of a sea which was covered in the debris from the ship and the bodies of their shipmates.
    One boat had escaped; the captain's coxswain, George SMITH and nine others had managed to launch a small whale boat and had rowed the 12 miles through a high sea to the island of Pora where they found nothing but a a few sheep and goats.
    The coxswain and four others then rowed back to the wreck to see if there were any other survivors.
  • The captain ordered the coxswain to take the Greek pilot to Cerigotto to see if they could find help there.
    They left nearly 90 men to spend the night holding on to each other and a small rope round the summit of the rock to prevent them being swept away by the surf.
    Many died of exposure during the night but they were all cheered by the arrival of a sailing vessel which lowered a boat.
    This rowed to within a pistol shot, looked at the men men clinging to the rock and then spent the rest of the day picking up salvage from from the wreck before sailing away.
  • On the fourth day the sun made an appearance but a fishing boat promised by the coxswain did not.
    They still had no water and some, in desperation tried the flesh of a dead companion.
    By the evening many more were dead including the captain and the first lieutenant.
  • They had to spend another two nights on the rock before the coxswain could persuade four fishing vessels to come and take the survivors to Cerigotto.
    Fifty-eight men died out of 122 including 18 drowned when the ship struck and 3

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