Built in 1781, Hillhouse, Bristol.
Broken up in 1814.
- 1782 Capt. Sir R. PEARSON, convoy from Newfoundland to Lisbon.
- 1793 Capt. Hon S. FINCH.
- 1794 Capt. Sir Edward PELLEW.
- 1795 Capt. M. ROBINSON, 04/1795.
- 1796 Capt. Thomas WOLLEY, 03/1796.
He conveyed Sir Ralph Abercromby to the Leeward Is. in the spring of 1796 and, after the reduction of St. Lucia, he was detached by Sir Hugh CHRISTIAN with three frigates and two sloops to co-operate with the army in putting down the insurrections in the islands of St. Vincent and Grenada. Two seamen belonging to ARETHUSA were killed while serving ashore.
- On 17 February 1797 the island of Trinidad surrendered to British troops under Sir Ralph Abercromby. ARETHUSA was with the squadron of five sail of the line and six frigates, under Rear Ad. HARVEY, which took part and Capt. WOLLEY superintended the debarkation of the army. As they approached the island four Spanish sail of the line and one frigate, lying in Shaggaramus Bay were set on fire by their own crews. The SAN DAMASO (74) was captured.
- ARETHUSA, on passage from the West Indies, was towing a detained neutral vessel on 10 August 1797 when three sail were seen to windward. One of them, the French corvette GAIETE of twenty long 8-pounders and 186 men, bore down and started an action but, after half an hour, when she received no support from her compatriots, she was forced to strike with two men killed and eight wounded. ARETHUSA lost one man killed and three wounded.
- In January 1799 ARETHUSA went ashore on the coast of France. She was making so much water when she arrived at Portsmouth on the 16th. that she immediately went into harbour.
on 1 February a court martial was held on board GLADIATOR at Portsmouth to try Lieut. MORINGCOURT of the ARETHUSA on a charge of inattention which resulted in the grounding. He was found guilty and sentenced to be reprimanded. The lieutenant was described as a very genteel man and an excellent officer.
- The Duke of Kent sailed from Portsmouth for Halifax in ARETHUSA on 24 July 1799.
- At the beginning of January 1800 a court martial was held on board GLADIATOR at Portsmouth on Lieut HARFORD, first of the ARETHUSA, on a charge of throwing tea at a young officer, Lieut. ASKEW, during an altercation at breakfast one morning. Lieut. HARFORD was dismissed his ship. He was popular with the ship's company and they had recently presented him with a sword and a pair of mounted pistols.
- On 10 March 1800 ENDYMION, ARETHUSA and CHAMPION sailed from Portsmouth with a convoy for the Mediterranean, the first two only accompanying part of the way. She returned to Portsmouth on 10 May with a convoy from Lisbon after parting with the Bristol trade off the Scillies.
- At half past nine on the morning of 12 April 1801, on her way round the Isle of Wight, ARETHUSA captured the French privateer lugger BRAAVE of Boulogne off Dunnose, between Ventnor and Shanklin, after a chase of six hours. With 14 guns and 57 men she was perfectly new and on her first cruise. ARETHUSA was bringing home from St. Helena a fleet of East Indiamen after a passage of 61 days from that island, having left on 6 February. Five of them were from China, leaving Canton in the middle of August 1800. The others were from Bengal and Bombay.
- She sailed again on the 23rd. with five East Indiamen, EARL HOWE, HENRY DUNDAS, LORD THURLOW, PRESTON and PRINCESS CHARLOTTE, under convoy for Madras and Bengal. ARETHUSA brought Brig. General Clinton and his staff back to Portsmouth from Madeira on 10 February 1802. At the island Capt. WOLLEY had been voted a sword by the British Factory for the protection he had afforded their interests during the war.
- 1803 in ordinary at Portsmouth.
On 20 December 1804 ARETHUSA went out of harbour to be re-fitted at Chatham.
- 1805 Capt. Charles BRISBANE was appointed to her in the spring.
ARETHUSA sailed on 12 December 1805 with WASP and BOADICEA to escort a convoy of 23 ships to Carlisle Bay in Barbados.
About 300 miles north-west of Finisterre on the 16th. they fell in with an enemy squadron from Rochefort consisting of five sail of the line and three frigates.
Far to the leeward were nine sail which the French had captured from an African convoy which had been escorted by LARK.
Capt. BRISBANE made the signal for the convoy to disperse and seventeen stood on to the south-west, the other six tacked and stood on to the north-west with the whole French squadron in pursuit.
The enemy gave up at nightfall and Capt. BRISBANE ordered WASP to Rochefort, Ferrol, Cadiz and Gibraltar to inform the commanders on those stations.
The enemy gave chase for a short time the following day, but at a great distance, and shortly afterwards the convoy fell in with ACTIVE and she was sent to watch the motions of the enemy while BOADICEA was dispatched directly to Ad. CORNWALLIS.
Capt. BRISBANE's actions ensured that none of the merchant ships was lost.
- On the 24th. they fell in with Sir John DUCKWORTH with six sail of the line and two frigates off Madeira and learnt that he had missed the enemy at Teneriffe by only two days.
- Early in 1806 ARETHUSA ran on shore among the Colorados, an archipelago of small islands along the N. W. coast of Cuba, and although her guns were thrown overboard to lighten her it took 12 hours work to get her off. In working up to Havanna she fell in with a Spanish line-of-battle ship and Capt. BRISBANE, although he had no guns, determined to lay her on board. The Spaniard had other ideas and stood for the protection of Moro Castle before ARETHUSA could reach her.
ARETHUSA returned to Jamaica to refit and get new guns.
- On the morning 23 August 1806 ARETHUSA and ANSON made a successful attack on the enemy near Moro Castle. The Spanish 38-gun frigate POMONA was sighted off the castle trying to make her way into Havana. Capt. BRISBANE made the signal to lay her on board but she bore up to anchor under sixteen 36-pounders in the castle and twelve gunboats, each armed with a 24-pounder, came out from Havana to take up station to seaward of her. He decided to attack and the two ships bore up through a raking fire which caused much damage to sails and rigging before anchoring close alongside POMONA in one foot of water more than ARETHUSA drew.
After a general action lasting 35 minutes POMONA struck her colours, three gunboats had been blown up, six had been sunk and three driven ashore. Lieuts. PARISH and SULLIVAN, first of ARETHUSA and ANSON took possession of the prize which was soon set on fire by red-hot shot from the castle. The fires were soon extinguished by Lieuts. HIGMAN and GRIFFITH. Shortly afterwards a dreadful explosion took place in the castle and all firing ceased. ARETHUSA lost two killed, seamen Jeremiah REED and John SLOANE. Capt. BRISBANE was wounded in the knee and suffered excruciating pain. Lieut. Henry HIGMAN was also wounded as was Lieut. Fennell of the marines. Twenty-seven seamen and two marines were wounded.
POMONA had been carrying merchandise and specie belonging to the king from Vera Cruz to Havana. The governor managed to get the money ashore ten minutes before the action started but the freight was captured. Her captain and 20 men were killed, two lieutenants and 30 men were wounded. POMONA was taken into the Royal Navy as CUBA.
Naval medals were awarded to the surviving members of the crews of ARETHUSA and ANSON in 1849
- On 29 November 1806 Capt. BRISBANE received orders from Vice Ad. DACRES, the Commander in Chief, at Port Royal, Jamaica, to take LATONA, ANSON and FISGARD (then sailing for Jamaica) under his command and take possession of the island of Curacao. Adverse wind and current prevented reaching the island before 1 January 1807. The four frigates sailed passed the line of batteries and anchored in the harbour and Capt. BRISBANE sent to the governor that his squadron was there to preserve life, liberty and property, but that if a shot was fired the batteries would be stormed. His ultimatum was ignored.
The port was defended by Fort Amsterdam with sixty-six pieces of cannon, more batteries on the heights and Fort Republique enfilading the whole harbour.
The 36-gun frigate HATSLAR, the 22-gun SURINAM and two schooners were across the narrow entrance. Within three quarters of an hour the enemy vessels had been carried by boarding and the lower forts, citadel and town of Amsterdam had been taken by storm and all were in British hands. The Dutch Commodore was killed and the captain of the Surinam severely wounded. ARETHUSA lost two seamen killed and five wounded, the other British ships one man killed and nine wounded between them.
The surrender was signed on the 5th. and two days later the inhabitants took the oath of allegiance to the British crown. Since the Dutch governor refused to take the oath, Capt. BRISBANE assumed the function. The Commander-in-Chief had calculated that ten sail-of-the-line and 10,000 troops would be needed to capture the island.
Each of the captains was presented with a gold medal and Capts. BRISBANE and WOOD were knighted.
Capt. BRISBANE returned to ARETHUSA and remained until the autumn of 1808 when he was appointed to BLAKE.
- 1808 Capt. Robert MENDS, 09/1808. Fitting out for Channel service.
On the morning of 26 November 1808 he gave chase to a lugger some 25 miles to the north-east of Alderney. After a run of about four hours towards the French coast they brought to the privateer GENERAL ERNOUF (16) belonging to Calais but had sailed from Cherbourg eight days earlier under Jacques Antoine. He had cruised successfully against British trade for fifteen years without being taken but on this cruise he had made no captures.
- In February 1809 she was ordered to the north coast of Spain.
A party of seamen and marines belonging to ARETHUSA was landed at Lequito on the north coast of Spain at daybreak on 15 March 1809. Under the first lieutenant, Mr Hugh PEARSON, and Lieut. Scott of the marines, they destroyed upwards of 20 guns mounted in French batteries there. A sergeant and twenty soldiers flung down their arms and were taken prisoner, while the the rest of their comrades ran for it. A small chaloupe laden with brandy was brought out from the harbour. Only three men were wounded in the attack.
- The following day the same party landed and destroyed the brandy found on two chasse-maree about four miles up the river Andero. Since the vessels had been seized by the French to carry the supplies to their army, they were restored to their owners. A party under Lieut. Elms STEELE destroyed the guns at Baignio on the 20th. and captured a small vessel taking merino wool from Santander to Bayonne. Lieut. Fennel of the marines and Mr ELLIOTT, the purser, destroyed the signal posts on the mountain behind. The same evening Mr PEARSON, with his party from Lequito, destroyed the guns in the battery at Paisance.
- On 7 April 1809 ARETHUSA took in tow the damaged French frigate NIEMEN which had been captured by AMETHYST after an action in the Bay of Biscay two days earlier. Capt. MENDS was struck senseless for a short time by a block which hit him on the back of his head.
- On a boat expedition during April Mr George BACK, midshipman, was taken prisoner and marched from the vicinity of San Sebastian to Bordeaux and thence to Verdun where he remained for nearly five years.
- ARETHUSA captured the French privateer schooner LEVRETTE (4) off the Saints on the morning of 17 March 1810. Four days out from La Rochelle she had made no captures.
- In July 1810 Ad. GAMBIER placed Capt. MENDS in command of a small squadron, ARETHUSA, DRYAD, AMAZON, COSSACK and NARCISSUS, with orders to co-operate with the Spanish Asturias Junta to make landings on the Cantabrian coast, forcing the French to divert troops from the interior. The Spanish Brigadier-general Porlier and 500 of his soldiers were embarked on 24 June and on the morning of 5 July the troops joined by a brigade of seamen and marines under Capt. AYLMER of NARCISSUS landed at Santona. Lieut. PEARSON of ARETHUSA was detached with a party of seamen and completely destroyed the guns in the forts. Without losing a single man all the batteries (with the exception of Castro) from San Sebastian to Santander, more than 100 pieces of heavy cannon, were destroyed in the various attacks by the squadron. The French lost more than 200 men and 300 volunteers were added to the Spanish forces. The Spanish troops were disembarked at Ribadeo.
- On 14 October Capt. MENDS effected a landing at Gijon which destroyed stores and threw the cannon into the sea.
Early in 1811 he was appointed to command the prison ships in Portsmouth.
- 1811 Capt. Francis Holmes COFFIN, Plymouth - Jamaica.
- 1814 Sheerness.