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TAMAR (16) Built in 1758, Snook of Saltash.
Fireship in 1777, when she was renamed PLUTO.
Taken in 1780.

  • 1764 Cdr. Patrick MOUAT.
    TAMAR accompanied Capt. Hon. John BYRON in DOLPHIN (24) on a circumnavigation of the globe, sailing from the Downs on 21 June.
    After leaving Rio de Janeiro on 22 October they sailed south to determine if Pepys Island, reported by William Cowley, the navigator of a buccaneer, in his journal of 1684, existed or not in 47 deg. S. TAMAR and DOLPHIN, sailing parallel courses sufficiently far apart to cover more than 20 leagues, determined that the island was fictional and sailed for Cape Virgins at the northern entrance to Magellan's Strait, where he watered before proceeding to a group of islands discovered by Capt. DAVID in 1592; the Falkland Strait which separated them had been named by Capt. STRONG in 1689. Capt. BYRON took possession of the islands in the name of George III in January 1765 and called them the Falkland Is.
    A large bay on the north east corner of East Falkland he named Berkeley Sound and the bay in which he first anchored, Port Egmont. He concluded that, at some 3 deg. further south of Cowley's latitude, they could be his Pepys Island. The two ships rendezvoused with a storeship from England in February 1765 before passing through Magellan's Strait and entering the Pacific past Cape Pilar. The fresh fruit and vegetables they had obtained had kept them free from scurvy although the 7 week passage had been a stormy one.
    Between 1 May and 30 July they sailed across the Pacific, strangely making no discoveries, to Tinian in the Ladrone or Mariana Is. where ANSON's scurvy sufferers had regained their health. Capt. BYRON, too, had to put up tents for his sick men, remaining nine weeks on the island. DOLPHIN and TAMAR sailed for England via Batavia and the Cape of Good Hope, TAMAR being diverted to Antigua to be fitted with a new rudder whilst DOLPHIN continued home, arriving in the Downs on 9 May 1766.
    The results of the expedition were disappointing so another in DOLPHIN and SWALLOW was sent off in August, (see DOLPHIN and SWALLOW)
  • In 1767 TAMAR, Capt. Anthony HUNT, accompanied by FAVOURITE, Capt. MALTBY and SWIFT, Capt. FARMER, was sent out to the Falkland Islands to establish Britain's claim to their sovereignty.
    He fell in with a small schooner, the Goleta ST. PHILIP, Don Miguel Santes, belonging to the King of Spain, which was conducting a survey of the islands, and sent her off with orders to desist. She returned a few days later with a Spanish officer carrying a letter from Philip Ruiz Puenta, at Port Solidad on the eastern part, (called Port Louis when occupied by the French in 1767) which assumed that TAMAR was being driven in search of shelter.
    HUNT sent the following letter in reply:-
    Tamar, Port Egmont, Dec. 10th. 1769
    I have received your letter by the officer, acquainting me, that these islands and the coasts thereof, belong to the King of Spain, your master.
    In return, I am to acquaint you, that the said islands belong to his Britannic Majesty, my master, by right of discovery as well of settlement; and that the subjects of no other power whatever can have any right to be settled in the said island, without leave from his Britannic Majesty, or taking the Oath of Allegience, and submitting themselves to his government, as subjects to the Crown of Great Britain.
    I therefore, in his Majasty's name, and by his orders, warn you to leave the said islands, and in order that you may be the better enabled to remove your effects, you may remain six months from the date hereof; at the expiration of which time you are expected to depart accordingly.
    I am, etc.

    This naturally led to further correspondence between the two men, each stressing their competing claims.
    On 20 February 1770 the Spanish frigate ST CATHARINE (36) Don Fernando de Rubalcava, and the ANDELUSIA (30), both from Buenos Ayres with troops, entered Port Egmont (Bay of Cruizada to the Spaniards) and sent a letter to TAMAR protesting against the construction of a settlement under the English flag and supported by his Britannic Majesty's ships.
    Capt. HUNT replied the same day:
    "I am to acquaint you that these islands belong to his Britannic Majesty, by right of discovery, and that it is with his most gracious pleasure that I am here to protect them to the utmost of my power, I do exhort you, and all under your command, to evacuate them."
  • Eight days later the Spaniards quitted Port Egmont and Capt. HUNT, suspecting that the Spaniards were about to take more decisive action, immediately sailed for England.
    He made his report on the proceedings to the Secretary of the Admiralty on 3 June 1770, detailing the above events and adding he had on board a French deserter from the Spanish settlement, who must have perished if he had not brought him off.
    (See SWIFT, FAVOURITE and JASON for more of the Falkland Is.
  • As PLUTO, Cdr. James BRADBURY she was with the British fleet under Ad. KEPPEL in action with the French off Ushant on 27 July 1778 (the other fireship present was VULCAN). Captured by the French on 30 November 1780.

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