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APOLLO (36) Built in 1799, Deptford.
Wrecked in 1804.

  • 1799 Capt. Peter HALKETT, 10/1799, West Indies.
  • On 11 January 1800 APOLLO was escorting a convoy some 100 miles west of Cape Finisterre when she gave chase to a suspicious vessel. After four hours she came within range and proved to be the Spanish war ship AQUILLA, pierced for 22 guns but only mounting four. Commanded by Don Mariano Merino she was bound for Corunna with a cargo from Buenos Aires.
    At daybreak on the 15th. a ship was seen ahead which immediately altered course and after a short chase APOLLO captured her. She was the LADY HAREWOOD, a ship which had been parted from the convoy on the 1st. during a gale and been taken by the French privateer VAUTOUR of 20 guns.
  • On 10 November 1800 APOLLO was in the Gulf of Mexico chasing a xebec to windward when a brig was sighted in the wind's eye. The chase was shifted to her and at two in the morning they came up with, and captured, the 18-gun Spanish sloop RESOLUTION commanded by Don Francisco Oarrichena. With a crew of 149 men she had sailed from Vera Cruz three days before. She had formally been the RESOLUTION cutter in the Royal Navy and was towed by APOLLO for the next 17 days but when her main mast broke and she was found to be generally rotten it was necessary to destroy her. The day after her capture the xebec was sighted again and taken during the afternoon. She was bound for Havana from Vera Cruz. The schooner ST. JOSEPH was recaptured off Porcillo in Cuba on 7 December.
  • APOLLO returned to Portsmouth from Jamaica on 12 March 1802 and paid off.
    On 18 October she was ordered to be put into commission immediately and bills were posted offering a bounty for seamen and petty officers.
  • 1803 Capt. John William Taylor DIXON, Channel.
    On 13 March APOLLO's seamen were paid two months wages in advance and the following day she sailed for Dublin to impress more seamen.
  • On 29 June APOLLO fell in with and captured the French national brig DART bound for L'Orient from Martinique. She carried four guns and 45 men and, with several others, had been employed carrying stores to Martinique.
  • On 26 March 1804 APOLLO and CARYSFORT sailed from the Cove of Cork with 69 sail of merchantmen under convoy and for the next four days they steered W. S. W. in a strong gale.
    At noon on 1 April the sights showed them to be about 100 miles off the coast of Portugal in latitude 40 deg. 51min. By the evening the wind was blowing hard with a heavy sea and the ship was under fore-sail and main and mizzen-storm-stay-sails, the main-stay-sail and the main-top-sail having split earlier.
    At about 3. 30 on the morning of 2 April the ship struck the ground and continued to strike, badly damaging her bottom. After about five minutes she drove over the shoal, carrying away the rudder, before striking again. Although the pumps were kept going the whole time they were unable to keep up with the water pouring in. The three masts went over the larboard side and the ship fell on the other side with her gunwale under water. The quarter-deck guns tore away the bulwark wrecking the after end.
    Capt. DIXON stood naked on the cabin skylight-grating holding on to the stump of the mizzen-mast rallying his officers and crew, most of whom were also naked, until daylight when they could see that they were about two cables from a sandy beach, obviously the coast of Portugal. On both sides they could see 20 or 30 sail of the convoy ashore, several of them wrecked.
    When the ship showed signs of breaking up the captain ordered all the people forward and 220 crammed themselves in the fore channels and out to the end of the bowsprit. Twenty had perished between decks and otherwise.
    Mr COOK, the boatswain had his thigh broken trying to get a boat over the side but all six boats were found to be stove in.
    Mr LAWTON, the gunner, was drowned as he attempted to swim ashore. Lieut. WILSON; Mr RUNCIE, the surgeon, and Mr M'CABE, his mate; Mr STANDLEY, master's mate, and several men, shared the same fate although they were excellent swimmers. Lieut. Edward HARVEY and Mr CALLAM, master's mate, were among the thirty or so who reached the shore on planks and spars. Capt. DIXON and Messrs. PROBY and HAYES, midshipmen, spent all the following night on the bowsprit, the old men and boys dying of hunger and fatigue.
    At noon the following day Lieut. HARVEY and Mr CALLAM, with the help of about 100 merchant seamen and Portuguese peasants, made several unsuccessful attempts to launch a boat and the men who tried to get off in rafts were swept out to sea by a change in the wind. Among these was Capt. DIXON who lowered himself on to a spar but could not regain his hold on the jib-boom before he was swept away.
    By the 4th. there were still more than 150 persons stowed in the fore-channel and the cat head, it being no longer possible to remain the head or on the bowsprit. In the morning 15 got off on pieces of wreck and in the afternoon, after several attempts, the people ashore managed to launch the boat and bring off the survivors. Sixty-one of her officers, and men were lost, some died soon after getting on shore through drinking too large a quantity of spirits. Lieut. Robert B. MATTHEWS was among those saved.
    About 40 merchant vessels were lost at the same time, but, since they were driven further inshore, the survivors got off on the first morning although casualties were high. CARYSFORT and the rest of the merchantmen avoided a similar fate by wearing as soon as the wind shifted on the evening of the 1st. APOLLO's officers and men were marched the 18 miles to Figuiera where a schooner took them to Lisbon. They returned to Portsmouth in the ORPHEUS frigate.

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