HMS SOPHIE (1809)




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HMS Sophie (1809)


For other ships of the same name, see HMS Sophie.
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Sophie
Ordered: 21 November 1808
Builder: John Pelham, Frindsbury
Laid down: December 1808
Launched: 8 September 1809
Completed: By 23 December 1809
Fate: Sold on 15 August 1825
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: 18-gun Cruizer class brig-sloop
Tons burthen: 387 4094 (bm)
Length: 100 ft 3 in (30.6 m) (overall)
77 ft 3 12 in (23.6 m) (keel)
Beam: 30 ft 8 in (9.3 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 9 in (3.9 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Brig-sloop
Complement: 121
Armament:

16 × 32-pounder carronades

2 x 6-pounder bow guns

HMS Sophie was an 18-gun Cruizer class brig-sloop of the Royal Navy. She served during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. During the War of 1812 Sophie participated in the economic war against American trade, capturing or destroying numerous small merchant vessels, and in an unsuccessful attack on Fort Bowyer, Alabama. Later, she moved to the East Indies where she served in the First Anglo-Burmese War. The Admiralty sold Sophie in 1825.


HMS Sophie (1809) Construction and commissioning


Sophie was launched and completed in 1809.[1][2] She commissioned under Commander Nicholas Lockyer in October that year.[1] Lockyer was to command her for the next five years.

Initially, Sophie served out of Portsmouth. On 30 November 1810 Sophie recaptured the ship Fountain,[3]which a privateer had captured. Fountain, Walker, master, had been sailing from Quebec to Lynn. She arrived at Ramsgate on 1 December.[4]


HMS Sophie (1809) War of 1812


In August 1812, Sophie sailed to North America, where she went on to have an active career taking prizes and operating against American privateers during the War of 1812.


HMS Sophie (1809) Prize taking

On 31 August 1812 she captured the merchant vessel Alexander, and on 25 November the brig Experience from Rio and bound for Boston.[5] Sophie sent Experience (or Experiment) into Bermuda.[6]

On 11 December Sophie took the [5]

Her success continued the following year, when in January 1813 she made prizes of the schooners Polly Merrick from [9]

On 22 June Sophie captured the letter of marque Amelia. Late in 1812 or early in 1813, Sophie shared in the capture of the schooner Spencer.[5]

While stationed in the Chesapeake in 1813, as part of a squadron under Captain Barrie in the 74-gun third-rate Dragon , Sophie participated in several cutting out expeditions in the Potomac. On 27 October boats from Dragon and Sophie burnt a brigantine of 110 tons.[10] On 30 October, boats from the two British ships burnt a schooner.[10] That same day they also captured the Two Brothers, of 70 tons and three men. After removing her cargo, the British burnt her.[10] The next day the British captured the schooner Gannet, of 36 tons and two men, which they also burnt.[10] That same day they captured the schooner Minerva, of 29 tons and three men. Here too they removed the cargo before burning the vessel.[10]

In November, boats from Dragon and Sophie, under Lieutenant Pedlar of Dragon, brought out, without loss, three American vessels from a creek in the Potomac.[11] Then between 6 and 19 November, Sophie burned two schooners, captured one sloop, and burned another. On 14 November she captured the Frankling, of 12 tons and two men, sailing from New York to South Carolina.[10] Three days later she burnt a brig of 50 tons.[10] Then she burnt a sloop off Smith's Island.[10]

Between 22 and 28 November she joined forces with [10] All these vessels were coasters. The first was the New York, of 28 tons and four men. Then came the Phoebe, of 48 tons and five men. Next came the sloop Caroline, of 45 tons and five men. The fourth was the schooner Fredricksburgh, of 38 tons and two men. The fifth and sixth were the sloop Polly and the schooner Peggy, both of which they burnt. The seventh was the schooner Lucy and Sally, of 48 tons and four men, sailing from Fredericksburgh to Onnacohe. The last was the schooner Poor Jack, of 26 tons and three men, also sailing from Fredericksburgh to Onnacohe.

Sophie shared, with a number of other vessels, in the prize money for the Regulator, captured on 22 November.[12] On 25 November, Sophie captured the brig Experience, sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Boston.[5]

In December, Sophie, again working with [15]

By 26 December 1813 Sophie was operating in company with the 36-gun [16]

On 24 April 1814 Sophie captured the American privateer Starks. Starks was armed with two guns and had a crew of 25 men. She was 24 days out of Wilmington but had not taken any prizes.[17]


HMS Sophie (1809) Mobile

At the beginning of August 1814 Sophie sailed to Pensacola, carrying brevet Captain Woodbine to meet with friendly Indians whom the Americans had driven into Spanish territory.[18] On 23 August Sophie and Hermes, the Hon. William Henry commanding, landed a detachment of troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Nicolls to fortify Fort San Miguel. The troops landed and hoisted the British flag alongside the Spanish. Henry only did this after having received a letter from the Spanish governor in Havana requesting British help.[18]

Six days later, Captain Percy sent Lockyer and Sophie to Barataria Bay to meet with the Indians and freebooters there to try to enlist them as allies in return for which they would be considered British subjects and would get lands in His Majesty's colonies assigned to them.[18] Jean Lafitte, their leader, feigned interest but then passed the proposals on to the Governor of Louisiana while offering his services to the Americans.[18]

Sophie was one of the four British ships that conducted the first and unsuccessful British attack on Fort Bowyer at Mobile Point on 15 September 1814. The Sophie had 6 killed and 16 wounded, and Hermes had 25 killed, 5 mortally wounded and 19 wounded, and was herself blown up.[19] Their defeat caused the British to overestimate the defences at Mobile and decide to move against New Orleans instead.

Main article: Fort Bowyer

HMS Sophie (1809) Battle of Lake Borgne

On 8 December 1814, two US gunboats fired on Sophie, Armide and the sixth-rate frigate Seahorse while they were passing the chain of small islands that runs parallel to the shore between Mobile and Lake Borgne.[20]

Main article: Battle of Lake Borgne

Between 12 and 15 December 1814, Lockyer led a flotilla of some 50 boats, barges, gigs and launches to attack the US gunboats. Lockyer drew his flotilla from the fleet that was massing against New Orleans, including the 74-gun Third Rate Tonnant, Arminde, Seahorse, Manly and Meteor.

Lockyer deployed the boats in three divisions, of which he led one. Captain Montresor of the gun-brig Manly commanded the second, and Captain Roberts of Meteor commanded the third.[20] After rowing for 36 hours, the British met the Americans at St. Joseph's Island.[20] On 13 December 1814, the British attacked the one-gun schooner USS Sea Horse. On the morning of the 14th, the British engaged the Americans in a short, violent battle.

The British captured or destroyed almost the entire American force, including the tender, USS Alligator, and five gunboats. The British lost 17 men killed and 77 wounded; Sophie's only casualty was Lockyer, who was badly wounded. Anaconda then evacuated the wounded. In 1821 the survivors of the flotilla shared in the distribution of head-money arising from the capture of the American gun-boats and sundry bales of cotton.[21][Note 1]


HMS Sophie (1809) New Orleans

Sophie went on to support British forces involved in the Battle of New Orleans between December 1814 and January 1815.[1] Sophie temporarily came under the command of Lieutenant James Tattnall in December 1814. Following Nicholas Lockyer's promotion,[23] he was succeeded in April 1815 by Commander Silas Hood. Hood was followed in an acting capacity by Lieutenant William G. Roberts, who paid her off at Portsmouth in 1815.[1]


HMS Sophie (1809) Post-war and First Anglo-Burmese War


Significant repairs were carried out between 1815 and 1817, with Sophie not returning to service again until December 1818, having been recommissioned under Commander Sir William Wiseman in August.[1] Wiseman and Sophie were based at Jamaica until 1820, when she returned to Britain for further fitting out and a return to service under Commander George French in December.[1] French took Sophie to the East Indies, where she subsequently sailed under a number of commanders, including Commander Robert Dunlop from July 1822 to April 1823. George Ryves, the first lieutenant of HMS Alligator, became acting commander in Sophie on 8 April 1823 and received confirmation of his appointment in October.

At the outbreak of the [24]

In August 1824, the naval force in India consisted of Arachne, and Larne, Sophie, and Liffey. Of this force only Larne was at Rangoon; Sophie had been dispatched to Bengal to bring back provisions.

By September 1824, nearly one fourth of the Sophie's crew had died, and as many more were sick. The surviving officers, seamen, and marines were authorized the medal "India, No. 1", with clasp for Ava.

Between September 1824 and February 1825, Sophie, together with other vessels including Alligator, Arachne, Diana and [28]


HMS Sophie (1809) Fate


In the middle of May 1825, Lieutenant Ryves was invalided. Lieutenant Edward Blanckley of Alligator was promoted to the command of the Sophie, which departed Rangoon shortly thereafter.[29]

Sophie was sold in the East Indies for £3,200 on 15 August 1825.[1][2]


HMS Sophie (1809) Notes


  1. ^ A first-class share of the prize money was worth £34 12sd; a sixth-class share, that of an ordinary seaman, was worth 7s 10¾d.[22]

HMS Sophie (1809) References


Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Winfield. British Warships of the Age of Sail. p. 285. 
  2. ^ a b Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 326. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16447. p. 164. 26 January 1811.
  4. ^ Lloyd's List,[1] - accessed 20 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h The London Gazette: no. 16713. pp. 579–580. 20 March 1813.
  6. ^ Lloyd's List,[2] - accessed 20 January 2014.
  7. ^ Lloyd's List,[3] - accessed 25 November 2013.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16733. p. 1015. 25 May 1813.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16783. p. 1966. 2 October 1813.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The London Gazette: no. 16853. pp. 307–308. 8 February 1814.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16850. p. 292. 29 January 1814.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 17359. p. 689. 12 May 1818.
  13. ^ a b c Bulletins of the campaign [compiled from the London gazette], (1814), p.98-100.
  14. ^ Vice-Admiralty Court (1911), Halifax, p.116.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 17401. p. 1716. 26 September 1818.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16853. p. 309. 8 February 1814.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16916. p. 1415. 12 July 1814.
  18. ^ a b c d Marshall (1829), Supplement, Part 3, p.64-6.
  19. ^ James (1818), p.344
  20. ^ a b c The London Gazette: no. 16991. pp. 446–449. 9 March 1815.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 17719. pp. 1353–1354. 26 June 1821.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 17730. p. 1561. 28 July 1821.
  23. ^ Davis, Peter. "Biography of Nicholas Lockyer R.N.". Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c d The London Gazette: no. 18168. pp. 1495–1498. 20 August 1825.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18120. pp. 500–501. 25 March 1825.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18131. pp. 722–724. 24 April 1825.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18145. pp. 1017–1018. 11 June 1825.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18202. p. 2277. 13 December 1825.
  29. ^ Marshall (1831), Vol. 3, Part 1, p.84.
Bibliography


| HMS_Sophie_(1809) | Sophie_(disambiguation) | Alexander_Manson | Cruizer-class_brig-sloop | Jack_Aubrey | The_Mauritius_Command | HMS_Tonnant_(1798) | HMS_Royal_Oak_(1809) | HMS_Armide_(1806) | HMS_Starr_(1805) | HMS_Aeolus_(1801) | Fort_Bowyer | HMS_Hermes_(1811) | Shipbuilding_in_Frindsbury | HMS_Cydnus_(1813) | HMS_Centaur_(1797) | The_Commodore_(novel) | HMS_Snapper_(1805) | HMS_Polychrest | Battle_of_Pensacola_(1814)

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