A |  B |  C |  D |  E |  F |  G |  H |  I |  J |  K |  L |  M |  N |  O |  P |  Q |  R |  S |  T |  U |  V |  W |  X |  Y |  Z

Use quotes like in "Aboukir Bay" to search phrases.
Use * as a wildcard like in "Trafalg*".

PILOT (18) Built in 1807, Northam (Cruizer class).
Sold in 1828.

  • 1807 Hon. W. WALPOLE, Mediterranean.
    At daylight on 18 August 1808 he discovered a sail to leeward and chased her until 10 o'clock when she hoisted French colours and opened fire. She was taken by boarding in a few minutes, the first lieutenant, Mr FLINN, five seamen and two marines being wounded. Six of the enemy were killed and twenty-four wounded out of the ninety aboard. She was the French privateer xebec PRINCESSE PAULINA armed with three long 12-pounder carriage guns and thirty days out of Genoa having taken no prizes. The gunner, Mr James CAPPON, and and the armorer, Denis, HEBY, were wounded when one of PILOT's guns went off by accident during the chase.
  • During August 1809 PILOT joined a squadron of sloops and brigs under Sir Home POPHAM to sound and buoy the channels in the West Scheldt to enable the larger ships to advance. They then moved between the Saeftingen shoals in a position to cut communication between the East and West Scheldt.
  • 1810 John Toup NICHOLAS.
    While serving in REDWING in the Mediterranean NICOLAS was appointed to PILOT so he returned home and joined her at Portsmouth in April 1810.
    At the end of the month she sailed as an escort to a large convoy bound for Lisbon and continued in to the Mediterranean with the merchantmen bound for Gibraltar and Malta. At Malta she came under the orders of Rear-Ad. Martin and was sent to harry enemy convoys off Calabria.
    On 22 June NICHOLAS observed the schooner ORTENZIA flying signals for the presence of the enemy. On coming up to her he learnt from Lieut. Edward Blaquiere that a large enemy convoy was anchored off Cirella, a small town some 30 miles south of the Gulf of Policastro.
    At daybreak the following morning 51 sail were observed close inshore at a distance of seven or eight miles escorted by five settees and eight gunboats. It being calm PILOT and ORTENZIA had to use their sweeps and when NICHOLAS saw that the schooner was gaining on the convoy he sent two of his boats to assist with towing until, at about half past twelve, she was able to open fire causing five of the largest merchant vessels to run ashore north of the town and some of the others to seek refuge under a battery. The escort, now increased to 16, replied to the fire from the schooner and from PILOT which had now come up. Because his crew were fatigued after 9 hours at the sweeps NICHOLAS recalled ORTENZIA and the two British ships hauled off for a time.
  • Later in the evening PILOT's boats under Lieut. George PERUD DOCKE went in to try and destroy the vessels on the beach to the northward but they were recalled when they came under heavy musket fire so both British ships opened up with their guns and had the satisfaction of seeing the vessels destroyed.
  • Fifteen days later, on 8 July, PILOT attacked another convoy of twenty vessels. The discharge of a few broadsides forced the crews of the escorting gunboats to jump overboard and then the fire was directed at the merchant vessels and continued for two hours until they were destroyed. Lieuts. George PENRUDDOCKE and Francis Charles ANNESLEY then brought out the gunboats from behind a small island under steady musket fire from the shore. The British losses were one boy killed and two men wounded. The convoy, commanded by Capitano Gorafolo, had been carrying stores and ammunition for MURAT's army at Scylla.
  • On 25 July PILOT and THAMES were in the Gulf of St. Eufemia just east of the Straits of Messina, when they saw WEAZLE signalling for a convoy, a large number of merchant vessels with supplies for Murat escorted by gunboats and scampavias. The enemy, on seeing them, hauled up on to the beach at Amantea in Calabria with the escorts drawn up in line, the whole being covered by small batteries on either flank.
    The three British vessels formed line and drove the enemy ashore with grape. PILOT's boats under Lieuts. ANNESLEY and PENDUDDOCKE and master's mate Thomas LEIGH then joined the others and the seamen landed to bring off the vessels under the protection of Royal Marines and the ships which continued firing on the batteries. The prizes consisted of six gunboats armed with four 18-pounders and two brass 36-pounders, two scampavias each with a long brass gun and twenty-eight transports. The rest were destroyed. The convoy had been under the command of Capitano Carracci. PILOT had two wounded, John KELLY, able seaman, and George GULL, corporal of marines.
    Because of the loss of the two convoys Murat was forced to cancel his invasion of Sicily
  • In April 1811 Lieuts. Alexander CAMPBELL and ANNESLEY in the boats and the master, Roger LANGLANDS, ashore, brought off three vessels loaded with olive oil from high on the beach at Monasteracci. This was achieved without loss despite musket fire from about 30 soldiers. The oil was the annual tribute from the town of Catanzara to the French government at Naples.
  • On 3 May several similar vessels were captured near Riacci and on the 10th. the boats of PILOT and HERALD attacked a small convoy near Monasteracci.
    Between 26 May and 3 September PILOT destroyed and captured a number of other vessels at Stongoli and Cotrone (now Crotone). On one of these occasions the carpenter was severely wounded.
  • On 6 September NICHOLAS saw an armed ketch under the walls of the castle at Castellar.
    PILOT came in close to scatter the troops gathered for her protection then Lieut. Campbell went in with the boats and took possession of the town. Finding that the ketch was bilged he threw her six 6-pounders overboard and set her on fire. The marines then took off some 15 tons of corn before the enemy reappeared with about 100 regular troops including 25 dragoons. They were sighted early from PILOT's masthead and her people embarked without loss as the French entered the town.
  • On 4 April 1812 the Neapolitan flotilla consisting of a brig, 3 schooners and 14 gun-vessels was attacked by PILOT and the THAMES frigate but, in the absence of wind, the enemy were able to escape under the Salerno batteries.
  • PILOT anchored close inshore off Policastro in Campania on 16 April 1812 and opened fire to drive away a force which had collected to protect nine coasting vessels which had been drawn up on the beach. Her seamen and marines landed under the direction of Lieut. CAMPBELL and managed to bring them off after about four hours while the acting master, Mr LANGLANDS, commanding the marines, kept the enemy at bay.
  • THAMES and PILOT attacked the port of Sapri on 14 May and, after the 38 men of the garrison surrendered, they destroyed two 32-pounder guns and the fortifications there. Mr LANGLANDS was again charge of the marines and faced about 200 armed peasantry with the loss of only one man wounded. The 28 vessels they took were destroyed in a gale the same night.
  • Between April 1810 and July 1812 PILOT captured or destroyed more than 130 vessels off the Calabrian coast for the loss of 8 men killed and 24 wounded. Among the latter were master' mate Henry Pierson SIMPSON and midshipman John BARNES. Mr SIMPSON was later killed by grape-shot while in pursuit of a privateer. Thomas F. LEIGH and Nicholas H. NICOLAS were commended for their conduct in charge of boats.
  • In July 1812 PILOT moved to the Adriatic in company with the frigate ALCMENE where they destroyed a number of guns on the island of Brazza (now Brac) some 15 miles south of Spaleto (now Split).
  • PILOT's next station was between Sicily and the African coast where on 4 June 1813, after a long chase off the Esqurques?, she captured a French armed brig HART (late a notorious privateer) from Marseilles bound for Tunis with a valuable cargo. PILOT's first shot was a shell from a carronade which exploded on the opposite side of HARP and convinced her that another English warship was present. (PILOT had been firing shells from her carronades, often in repeated broadsides, since 1810 when she first obtained them from prize gunboats. Subsequently a regular supply was maintained at Messina)
  • PILOT returned to Portsmouth on 6 October 1814 having escorted the convoy from Oporto.
    NICOLAS proposed to the Admiralty that the arrangement of storerooms inside PILOT should be modified to provide better damage control. (Inability to stop underwater shot-holes had been given as one of the reasons for the loss of AVON and PEACOCK. Similar modifications were ordered to be carried out on similar 18-gun-brigs under repair)
  • After Napoleon's return from Elba, PILOT sailed from Plymouth in April 1815 to go back to the Mediterranean where NICOLAS's first job was to open communication with royalists at Marseilles and to convey a member of the Duc d'Angouleme's staff from Barcelona to Genoa. He was then sent to watch Porto Ferrajo in Elba.
  • On 17 June 1815, the day before Waterloo, PILOT fell in with the French frigate LEGERE to the west of Corsica. As usual the French fired high to destroy PILOT's rigging but PILOT fired low to kill 22 men and wound another 79.(nearly equal to PILOT's entire crew) The LEGERE fled from her smaller opponent who was unable to give chase. PILOT lost only 1 man killed, 1 mortally wounded and 14 wounded, six of them, like the 1st. lieut. W. Keigwin Nicolas (the brother of the captain) and the purser, only slightly. In his report NICOLAS particularly mentioned Lieut. William G. Dowden, acting master William Weaver and the purser Thomas Rowe.
    During the action, while her people were reeving a hawser to hoist a new main-top-sail-yard a voice was heard though the skylight to the captain's cabin "You're reeving the hawser the wrong way." The voice was that of quarter-master's-mate John POWERS, at that moment lying on his back under the skylight and undergoing amputation of his thigh, his leg having been carried away by a round shot. POWERS was a 25 year old Irishman and his conduct was rewarded by the object of his ambition a cook's warrant. He was one of 11 men saved when DRAKE was wrecked in 1822.
    NICOLAS was advanced to post rank on 26 August 1814.
  • In 1816 PILOT accompanied Lord Exmouth to Algiers and Tunis and paid off in Plymouth in July 1816.
  • 1820 - 1828 Plymouth.

back  |  intro  |  home  |  contact

© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips