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SOUTHAMPTON (32) 5th rate Built in 1757, Rotherhithe.
Wrecked in 1812.

  • 1757 Capt. James GILCHRIST. In July, while bound for Plymouth with a considerable amount of specie on board to pay the ships there, he encountered five French privateers off the Isle of Wight, two of which were equal in force to SOUTHAMPTON. Capt. GILCHRIST engaged them over a period of three hours, much of the time lying between two of them and receiving fire from both, but silencing one and forcing the other to drop astern. However, with eight dangerous shot in the hull and the loss of 10 killed and 28 wounded (14 mortally) he was compelled to put into Weymouth to refit. After this was completed he was ordered to join Sir Edward HAWKE's attack on Rochefort. SOUTHAMPTON, detached to observe the port of Brest saw a sail in chace of him, so tacked and stood for her. At two in the afternoon, on 24th. September 1757, when he was within musket shot, the French ship opened fire, but Capt. GILCRIST did not reply until within twenty yards. An eye-witness gives some particulars:-
  • "The French frigate, of 26 guns, and two hundred and fifty picked men, being a prime sailor, was sent out to watch the motions of our fleet, but it falling calm, and not having equal number of boats to tow her, the Southampton came up with her, having first made a feint of sheering off. Captain Gilcrist was at breakfast, and cooly ordered his men to breakfast also. Making off gave him some time to prepare and the Frenchman crowding all his sail eagerly pursued; when the Southampton lying-to to receive him, never was there a more resolute engagement for twenty minutes; the officers of the French were all killed, two of them by the same shot of a blunderbuss from captain Gilchrist's own hand. The men fought each other with hand-pikes, and when the French had struck, what remained were so able seamen, that they derided the mean appearance of ours, although their conquerors."
  • The enemy was the EMERAUDE, mounting twenty-four nine and two six pounders, having two hundred and forty-five men on board, her killed and wounded were about sixty. On SOUTHAMPTON the second lieutenant and nineteen men were killed, and there were twenty-eight wounded including the all the officers but the captain. SOUTHAMPTON was so shattered that she was ordered to England to refit.
  • [EMERAUDE had been built at La Havre in 1741. On 14th. December John Clevland, the Secretary of the Admiralty, minuted that he had reached agreement with the naval agents over the purchase of the prize and her stores. She was renamed EMERALD (28), and was broken up in November 1761.]
  • During October 1758 Capt. GILCHRIST captured and carried into Kingsale two large French privateers, the CANMARTIN from Dunkirk, M. Jean-Baptist Cock, armed with eighteen six-pounders and twelve swivels, carrying 146 men. The other, from Bayonne, had 20 guns and 210 men.
  • In March 1759 SOUTHAMPTON was cruising in the North Sea with the MELAMPE, Capt. HOTHAM, when they encountered and captured the large French frigate DANAE (40). In the action Capt. GILCHRIST was shot in the right shoulder with a pound ball. He was put ashore at Yarmouth, dangerously wounded, but the skill of his surgeons eventually preserved his life, although he was incapable of serving again. Lord ANSON presented him to his Majesty and he was awarded a pension of 200 L a year on which he retired to his native Scotland and died in 1777.
  • 1759 Capt. Joseph FRAINE, 11th. December, promoted from commander of the SPEEDWELL sloop. He remained in SOUTHAMPTON for a very short time, being removed to the SURPRIZE.

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