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PORCUPINE (22) Built in 1807, Topsham.
Sold in 1816.

  • 1807 Capt. Hon. Henry DUNCAN, 04/1807, fitting out for the Mediterranean.
    Capt. DUNCAN was nominated by the new first Lord of the Admiralty, Mr Grenville, and he sailed with despatches and specie on 10 July and joined Lord COLLINGWOOD off the Dardanelles on 2 September.
    On 7 October 1807 PORCUPINE, operating in the Adriatic, chased a trabaccolo into the harbour of Zupaino and Capt. DUNCAN sent his first lieutenant, Mr George PRICE, with the cutter and the jolly boat to bring her out.
    They were recalled when an Italian gunboat opened fire on them but were sent out again after dark to attack the gunboat.
    Lieuts. PRICE and Francis SMITH with their men boarded and carried the vessel under a heavy fire of grape and musketry. She was the SAFO, Ensign Antonio Ghega, armed with one long brass 24-pounder and several large swivels and carrying 50 men.
    One seaman and one marine were wounded.
    During the two months from 23 September 1807 the boats under Lieut. PRICE took about 40 enemy vessels, mainly taking grain and wine between Ragusa and Catero.
  • The French commander at Ragusa, General Lauriston, had detained three or four men from PORCUPINE who had been driven there by bad weather while navigating a small prize.
    Lieut. PRICE made an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate an exchange of prisoners and he had only just returned when two four-oared boats with red awnings were seen coming out from the harbour.
    When PORCUPINE's jolly boat went to investigate French soldiers opened fire from under the awnings but Lieut. PRICE, standing up with the tiller between his legs, fired his swivel into one of the boats as he pulled away.
    One of the French boats was nearly cut in two by a shot from PORCUPINE but Capt. DUNCAN did not consider them worth pursuing.
  • On 27 November the PORCUPINE's cutter captured two small vessels from Ragusa, one man was wounded by musket fire from the shore.
    Two days later merchantmen and wine stores at Zuliano were destroyed and two trabaccolos captured, one carrying wool, the other everything necessary for constructing a battery on the island of Curzola.
  • During a gale Lieut. PRICE, in a twelve-oar cutter, took refuge with three prizes inside the port of Ragusa Vecchia.
    After spending the night there unmolested he escaped with two of them in the morning.
    In January 1808 PORCUPINE captured two large French transports sailing from Taranto to Corfu with grain and gunpowder.
    One, MADONA DEL CARMINE, foundered in a gale a few days later but, thanks to PORCUPINE and her jolly boat, only two men out of the 25 on board were lost.
  • PORCUPINE took Mr Hill, his Majesty's minister to the court of Sardinia, from Palermo to Cagliari and landed him on 4 June 1808.
    Capt. DUNCAN then proceeded to cruise between Naples and Toulon.
    PORCUPINE moved to the west coast of Italy and on 23 June 1808 a French vessel from Civita Vecchia laden with wine was driven ashore and destroyed under heavy fire from batteries in two towers.
    Near Monte Christo on 25 June he gave chase to a French schooner and captured her after eleven hours, during which time she tried to run herself on shore some 12 miles south of Bastia. She proved to be the NOUVELLE ENTERPRISE, a fine letter of marque, pierced for 14 guns but carrying six 6-pounders. She had a cargo of bale goods bound for Turkey from Livorno.
    Because PORCUPINE's crew consisted mainly of impressed men, Capt. DUNCAN escorted his prize into Palermo, rather than put a prize crew on board.
    Lord COLLINGWOOD ordered the schooner to be surveyed and valued, and if fit, to be purchased for service at Malta.
  • On the morning of 6 July PORCUPINE's boats went in chase of a merchant vessel escorted by two French gunboats off Monte Circello on the coast of Romania.
    After rowing for eight hours in hot sun they drove the vessel ashore and forced the gunboats to take shelter in Port Dango.
    Later in the day three other vessels also entered the port.
    During the night of the 24th. the boats brought out the largest of them, a polacre, N. S. DEL ROSARIO, armed with eight long 6-pounder guns and taking salt from Hyeres to Naples. She was moored to the beach and covered by French soldiers on the beach, two batteries and three gunboats each carrying a 24-pounder. She was within grape range for an hour and twenty minutes but only eight people in the boats were wounded including Mr John O'Brien BUTLER, midshipman and Lieut. PRICE.
    The later was severely wounded in the head and right leg and, following a recommendation from Capt. DUNCAN, he was promoted to commander.
    The officers employed in the boats were Lieuts. George PRICE and Francis SMITH; Lieut. James Renwick, RM ; Messrs, BARRY, FEATHERSTONE, WILKES, ADAMs and BUTLER, Midshipmen; Mr ANDERSON, captain's clerk.
    The other wounded were John CAMPELL, master's mate, James LEWIS, able; Joseph GERMAIN, ordinary; all severely.
    Edward EDWARDS, able; James Roger, private marine, and William Mitchell, private of marines, all slightly.
  • In July 1808 when the Spanish revolted, following the French invasion of their country, the Duc d'Orleans, then living in Palermo, persuaded the British minister in Sicily to apply for Capt. DUNCAN to take him to Cadiz in PORCUPINE to fight with the insurgents.
    Capt. DUNCAN replied that he did not consider that it was the right time for a Frenchman, even a Royalist, to go to Spain, and, in spite of disparaging remarks about his youth, DUNCAN was about 22 years old, he stuck to his guns and put to sea to continue his cruise.
  • (A few days later a warship did take the Duc to Cadiz where he was refused permission to land and Lord COLLINGWOOD returned him to Palermo.)
  • 1808 Capt. Robert ELLIOT, who had been assisting Sir Alexander BALL with port duties at Valetta, was posted to PORCUPINE on 27 June, but he did not take command until 2 October 1808 when Capt. DUNCAN left her in Malta and sailed for Palermo in the SPIDER, brig, to join MERCURY (28).
  • 1811 Capt. Robert ELLIOTT, Brazils.
    Later in the year she was at Portsmouth.
  • 1814 Capt. Sir G. R. COLLIER, North coast of Spain.
    In May under Capt. John COODE she was the flagship of Rear Ad. Charles PENROSE off Bordeaux.
    Wellington, after driving the French across the Gave d'Oleron, planned to occupy both banks of the Adour and blockade Bayonne.
    Rear Ad. PENROSE was involved in collecting at Porto de Socca and St Jean de Luz boats and equipment to build a bridge across the river.
  • On 23 February 600 infantry and part of a rocket brigade were ferried across the river below Boucaut and the following morning PORCUPINE arrived off the Adour where the sand bar was about a mile across and the surf was very high.
    Lieut. John DEBENHAM, an agent of transports, went up into PORCUPINE's main-top-mast-head and believed he had found a place were a passage might be attempted.
    He set out in a 6-oared gig with five spare rowers and under lug fore-sail and mizzen they swept through the 20 foot waves until they were washed up on to the beach at the extreme end of the right bank.
    They were followed by Capt. Dowell O'REILLY of the LYRA who was not so lucky.
    Five of his men were drowned and the survivors were dragged out of the surf by Lieut. DEBENHAM and his men.
    The gig was immediately put to use ferrying men across the river and Lieut. DEBENHAM started the construction of a large raft.
  • Lieut. George CHEYNE of the WOODLARK, a volunteer on board PORCUPINE, found a pilot willing to guide the flotilla of hired and purchased boats in and Rear Ad. PENROSE shifted to GLEANER to go in closer.
    Twenty-five chasse-maree and several gun boats managed to enter the Adour although several boats were lost with their crews.
    They formed the basis of a 900 yard floating bridge across the river.
    On 27 March PORCUPINE joined the naval force which entered the Gironde.
    (EGMONT, ANDROMACHE, BELLE POULE, VESUVIUS, CHALLENGER, PODARGUS, MARTIAL, DWARF with REYNARD and NIMBUS joining later) Rear Ad. PENROSE stood on EGMONT's poop with the chart spread before him, doing his own pilotage.
    They pursued the REGULUS (74) and other French ships from Royan some 8 miles up river to the Talmont shoal and the shelter of a strong fort.
    On 30 March Rear Ad. PENROSE returned to PORCUPINE and sailed from Verdun to an anchorage off the town of Castillon which had been abandoned by the French garrison.
    The following day Capt. GOODE was sent up to Pouillac with VESUVIUS, CHALLENGER, PODARGUS REYNARD and NIMBLE under his orders.
    They bombarded the citadel and the boats of the squadron under Capt. ST. CLAIR of REYNARD made an attempt to capture the island of Pate in the middle of the river which was frustrated by bad weather.
  • The French General De Caen assembled a small flotilla consisting of two brigs, a schooner, eight gunboats and four chasse-maree to retake Bordeaux.
    This was discovered near Blaye on the 2 April and destroyed by the British boats.
    While VESUVIUS bombarded Blaye, PORCUPINE joined the advanced squadron near Pouillac.
  • PORCUPINE subsequently sailed to Passages with Rear Ad. PENROSE to superintend the transfer of men and stores to America.
    He struck his flag at Plymouth on 12 September 1814.
  • 1815 Capt. Booty HARVEY, 09/1814.
    PORCUPINE was intended for the South American station but did not go to sea again.

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