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PELICAN (18) Built in 1812, Topsham (Cruizer class).
Coast Guard in 1863.

  • 1813 John Fordyce MAPLES, Cork.

    On 12 August 1813 she sailed from Cork in heavy weather in search of an American brig which had been attacking vessels in the St. George's Channel.
    The following evening, off St. David's Head, Capt. MAPLES sighted a vessel on fire and a brig standing off from her.
    He lost her during the night but early on the 14th. sighted her again and made chase.
    At 6 AM, about 15 miles off St David's light, the brig wore and opened fire with her port broadside.
    PELICAN replied carrying away the brig's rigging then, coming up under her stern, raked her.
    When the two vessels fell foul the PELICAN boarders, led by Mr William YOUNG, master's mate, who was killed at the moment of victory, swept on board and the brig stuck her colours after an action lasting 43 minutes, and proved to be the US
    sloop ARGUS, armed with eighteen 24-pounder carronades and two long 12-pounders. She had a complement of 127 men during the action.
  • On PELICAN one able seamen, John EMERY, was killed and five others were wounded.
    The 1st. Lieut. Thomas WELSH, William GLANVILLE, acting master, William INGRAM, purser, and Richard SCOTT, boatswain, all distinguished themselves in the action.
    During the action a canister-shot struck one of MAPLES' waistcoat buttons and fell to the deck.
    In the ARGUS 13 were killed or mortally wounded including her commander, William Henry ALLEN, who had his left thigh amputated after ARGUS arrived at Plymouth.
    As he was carried to the hospital at Mill Prison he said farewell to his crew "God bless you all my lads we shall never meet again." He died shortly afterwards and was buried with full naval honours in the Old Church, Plymouth.
    Five hundred Royal Marines and the band of the Plymouth division took part in the procession.
    He had been promoted to captain after serving as 1st. lieutenant of the UNITED STATES during her action with the MACEDONIAN and ARGUS had two brass guns from that ship.
  • The ARGUS had captured and burnt many vessels off the Irish coast, including eleven off the Shannon.
    He captured several in the Bristol Channel when, in a thick fog, he found himself among the Leeward Island fleet.
    Although the crews he took prisoner praised his good conduct towards them, one Irish cattle dealer on board the DIANA & BETSY, prize, complained that he burnt 27 head of cattle with the vessel after slaughtering three for his own crew.
  • 1814 Thomas MANSELL, to Lisbon.
    After a chase of twelve hours he captured the American letter of marque schooner SIRO, which was carrying a cargo of cotton from South Carolina to Bordeaux, on 13 January 1814.
    225 tons and pierced for 16 guns she was a new vessel, coppered and copper fastened, and had been chased by a number of British cruisers.
  • 1815 Thomas PRICKETT, Cork Station.
  • 1816 R. L. COULSON, Spithead.
  • 1816-17 Edward CURZON, 07/1816, Sheerness.
  • 1818 Ditto, Jamaica.
  • 1820 Portsmouth.
  • 1825 Mediterranean.
  • 1826 Charles Leonard IRBY, 08/8/1826, fitting out for the Mediterranean.
    He was employed hunting pirates off the western coast of Greece.
  • On 3 January 1827 PELICAN's pinnace and cutter under Lieut. Henry SMITH (b) captured the schooner APHRODITE (4) near Scardamoula (Kardamili) in the Gulf of Calamata.
    The vessel belonged to a notorious Genoese pirate named Nicolo Siutto and had on board a quantity of plundered property which included cochineal, silk, gunpowder and money.
    Half the crew of 30 escaped ashore.
    Five days later Capt. IRBY wrote to the Greek authorities demanding, under threat of blockade, that they hand over the pirates Siutto and Coccocci to him and free two Ionian vessels and their cargoes which they had taken off Cape Matapan.
    All he received in answer were prevarication which convinced him that the Greek governors were hand in glove with the pirates.
    In the end one of the Governor of Maina, Giovanni Mavromicali, agreed to accompany Capt. IRBY to Zante in his own galley with one of the Ionian vessels for adjudication.
    They all sailed on the 18th. but Capt. IRBY lost sight of the other two off the island of Venetico and only the Ionian vessel arrived at Zante.
    When ZEBRA arrived at Zante on the 29th. with dispatches, her captain, Richard WILLIAMS, was asked to look for Mavromicali's vessel on his return passage.
    He found her back at Scardamoula.
  • CAMELEON returned to Smyrna which she reached on 17 February after running to seeking shelter at Milos for three days from a easterly gale off Thermia. She sailed again for the Ionian Is.
    after watering at Vourla.
  • On 2 March Capt. IRBY was off the passage between Oxia and Scropha Point on the mainland when he sighted a bovo similar to one used by the pirate Nicolo Cipriotti.
    Chase guns were fired by PELICAN to bring her to, but she put out sweeps and attempted to escape.
    When PELICAN's pinnace and gig approached within a pistol shot they were fired on killing two marines and mortally wounding two seamen.
    Lieut. Henry SMITH was wounded in the hand and Lieut. Daniel GRANT received wounds which later proved fatal.
    Mr CASE, the carpenter, one seaman and one marine were also wounded.
    The bovo then showed Turkish colours but, as she persisted in not bringing to, IRBY ran her ashore on the shoals off Missolonghi and fired broadsides until she was wrecked.
    Lieut. SMITH, in spite of his wounds, then took a boat's crew to set her on fire.
    Seventeen of the bovo's crew were brought on board and the remainder escaped ashore; her captain and several others were killed.
    Her papers showed that in fact the bovo was a Turkish vessel from Preveza bound for Missolonghi but the British authorities stood by IRBY in spite of Turkish protests because PELICAN had clearly showed British colours when making the challenge and the captain's obstinacy had led IRBY to believe that he was dealing with a pirate.
  • PELICAN returned to Corfu. She was the only small vessel operating in the Ionian islands and was now five short of her complement of 115 officers and men, with both lieutenants, carpenter and several men wounded and 12 men away in a prize at Malta.
    Capt. IRBY left two of the prisoners in hospital at Corfu with one of his own wounded men and then sailed for Malta with dispatches.
  • On 13 July 1827 Capt. IRBY opened fire on Scardamoula to force the return of property held by the pirate Nicolo Siutto which had been taken from two vessels, one Austrian the other English, off Paxo.
    The Greek governor, Murzius, pleaded that Siutto had already disposed of the plunder but when Capt. IRBY learnt that some of the British goods were actually in the governor's house a 32-pounder shot was sent through the very room containing them.
    Bales of Manchester cotton were found and convoyed to Zante in an Ionian vessel.
  • Although Capt. IRBY was appointed to ARIADNE at the beginning of July he remained in PELICAN and after the battle of Navarino he assumed command of GENOA to take her home to be paid off.
    His successor, Capt. HAMILTON, finally took over PELICAN on 27 November.
  • 1827-8 William Alexander HAMILTON.
    He was appointed to PELICAN on 2 July 1827, two months after returning from Bermuda where he had commanded DOTERELL for a short time.
    He sailed out to the Mediterranean as a passenger on the DARTMOUTH frigate carrying a duplicate of the treaty between Great Britain, France and Russia for the protection of Greece.
    Before he joined PELICAN, Sir Edward CODRINGTON sent him in DARTMOUTH with a letter to the commander of the Turco-Egyptian fleet at Navarino.
  • In January 1828 PELICAN joined a small squadron under Sir Thos.
    STAINES which destroyed several pirate vessels in the harbour at Carabusa (or Grabusa).
    This was a small island off Cape Busa (Vouxa) in the north-west of Crete which had developed into a pirate stronghold after being occupied by Greeks early in the war against the Turks in Crete.
    PELICAN's marines, with those of ISIS (50), landed to take possession of the fortress there.
  • PELICAN then came under the orders of Capt. LYONS in BLONDE and, in October 1828, accompanied a division of the Egyptian fleet which was evacuating Ibrahim Pasha's army from Greece to Alexandria.
    At the same time Capt. Hamilton heard of his promotion but he did not leave PELICAN until 1 December.
  • 1828 F. D. HUTCHESON, 08/1828, Mediterranean.
  • 1830 Joseph GAPE, 04/1830, Mediterranean.
    Ordered home in December 1833.
  • 1834 Chatham.
  • 1834 Brunswick POPHAM, coast of Africa.
  • 1840 Chatham.
  • 1841 Philip JUSTICE, 11/1841, East Indies.
  • 1846 Portsmouth.

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