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PHILOMEL (8) Built in 1842, Plymouth.
Sold in 1870.

  • 1842 Bartholomew James SULIVAN, 04/1842, survey work in the Falkland Is.
    and River Plate.
    In the summer of 1845 SULIVAN navigated a small squadron of four British ships (PHILOMEL, GORGON, DOLPHIN and FANNY) and some other vessels commanded by the Italian patriot Garibaldi up the Uruguay River for about 150 miles to Paysandu.
    The purpose of the expedition was to rescue foreign refugees caught up in the invasion of Uruguay by the Argentinean dictator, Juan Manuel De Rosas.
  • De Rosas's main base was some 110 miles up the Parana River at Obligado where a boom consisting of 24 hulks had been chained across the river which was half a mile wide at this point.
    This obstruction was covered by four batteries mounting 27 guns ranging in size between 36 and 18-pounders.
    Above the boom were two gunboats and a schooner and several fireships were moored downstream.
    An Anglo-French expedition of 11 vessels started up the Parana on 8 October and 10 days later anchored 2 miles below the boom.
    SULIVAN, accompanied by the French Lieutenant MAZERES, reconnoitred the Argentine position during the night and the following day and on the morning of the 20th. the allied force moved up to the attack.
  • PHILOMEL, leading the schooner FANNY and the French PROCIDA and EXPEDITIVE, soon came under fire and the damage forced her anchor short of the first battery.
    On the other side of the river DOLPHIN and COMUS with the French PANDOUR and SAN MARTIN made better progress but they too came under heavy fire and SAN MARTIN was soon put out of action.
    Boat parties under Capt. James HOPE of the paddle steamer FIREBRAND and Lieut. WEBB of DOLPHIN then managed to sever the chains and make a gap in the boom.
    Capt. SULIVAN and Lieut. George RICHARDS of PHILOMEL together with Lieut. Astley Cooper KEY of FANNY landed with 180 seamen followed by 145 Royal Marines to capture the batteries and by the following day they were all in allied hands.
  • PHILOMEL lost Lieut. Charles Francis DOYLE, who died of his wounds, and had six others wounded.
    SULIVAN was posted for his part in the operation which was later condemned by the British government but not by the French.
  • 1847 William C. WOOD, 03/1847, coast of Africa.
  • 1850 Devonport.
  • 1851 Thomas George FORBES, coast of Africa.
    On 25 November 1851 FORBES was senior officer when the boats of a small squadron (HARLEQUIN, VOLCANO, NIGER and WATERWITCH) went into Lagos with the British consul from Fernando Po, Mr BEECROFT, to attempt to depose a king who was supporting the slave trade.
    FORBES took the whaler and Lieut. George Bell Williams the pinnace with a 12-pounder carronade.
    They were fired on as they crossed the bar and at the subsequent landing his force of 250 was opposed by some 5,000 natives and FORBES could do little more than fire some houses before retiring with two dead and a large number wounded.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips