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RENARD (12) Schooner The French schooner taken by Lord Nelson's squadron in the Mediterranean in 1803. She was later renamed CRAFTY.
Sold in 1809.

  • She was armed with ten 12-pounder carronades and two long 4-pounders, with a complement of 48 officers, men and boys.
    On 2 December 1803 Lord NELSON appointed Lieut. Richard SPENCER out of TRIUMPH (74) to command RENARD, then stationed at Malta.
    (Lieut. SPENCER's gallant behaviour while a lieutenant in CAMELOON had been brought to his Lordship's notice).
    In October 1806 Lieut. SPENCER was sent to negotiate with the Dey of Algiers for the release of some Maltese who had been enslaved by the Algerians before Malta became a British possession.
    The Dey, expressing his wish to be friendly with Britain, eventually released 32 people who had been slaves for more than 15 years, requesting a British frigate to take his ambassador to Constantinople.
    The Government of Malta presented the lieutenant with a piece of plate valued at 100 guineas on his return.
  • While escorting a convoy of merchantmen he drove on shore and destroyed a 4-gun privateer which had come out from Syracuse.
  • During the night of 2 January 1807 Lieut. SPENCER was ashore in Valetta and CRAFTY was lying at anchor in the fairway when EAGLE (74) broke from her moorings and brought up immediately astern of the schooner and threatened to smash into her.
    No boats could be launched in the high seas that were running and the men in EAGLE were standing by with ropes to pick up the schooner's crew so Lieut. SPENCER stripped off his coat and boots and swam out through the surf to board his ship.
    Here he secured a spring on the anchor cable then cut and ran to a more secure anchorage.
  • On 8 March 1807, while operating out of Gibraltar, one of her carronades was dismounted in an action with several Spanish gunboats belonging to the Algiciras flotilla.
    The following day she was cornered in a small bay near Tetuan by three gunboats, GENERALISSIMO, HURON and PASTORA, the first two each armed with two 24-pounder carronades and the other with two 18-pounder carronades.
    The enemy crews numbered over 200 men.
    After the first Spanish attempt to run her on board was repulsed Lieut. SPENCER was badly wounded in the face by a shot striking the lock of a gun he was sighting at the GENERALISSIMO.
    Later he was stuck down by a cutlass slash to the side of his head and his life was saved by the schooner's master firing the ramrod of the musket he was loading through his assailant as the Spaniard was about to follow up with a stab in the chest.
    CRAFTY was eventually captured after a long and bitter action with the loss of 3 men killed and 13, including Matthew M'LAUGHLIN, master's mate, John POORE, midshipman, and Samuel WADLAND, clerk, wounded.
    Each gunboat on the enemy side lost as as many as the schooner and the Spanish commodore and his captain were killed by the same shot as they attempted to board CRAFTY.
    Lieut. SPENCER was exchanged later in the year and fought with much distinction in the far east as commander of SAMARANG.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips