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ARROW (28) Built in 1796, Redbridge.
Taken in 1805.

    She and DART were designed by General Samuel Bentham, Inspector General of Naval Works and they were described as "curiously constructed sloops of war, sharper in shape than vessels of war in general, and projected, or raked forward at each end, like a wherry. Their breath increased from the waterline upwards; whereby it was considered that they would be stiffer and less liable to overset. The decks were straight fore and aft. They proved to be stiff vessels and fast sailors". They mounted 28 32-pounder carronades, with a complement of 121 men.
  • 1797 N. PORTLOCK, cruising Downs station.
  • 1800 William BOLTON, Sheerness.
  • 1802 Richard Budd VINCENT, 17 May 02, cruising against smugglers off the Devon coast.
    Owing to her unusual appearance she soon became well known to those illicit traders who easily recognised her at a distance. She was paid off at Portsmouth in February 1803 and Capt. VINCENT was re-appointed to her on 1 March.
  • Lord GARDNER, the Port Admiral, gave permission for a Custom House cutter to wait in the offing to impress seamen from vessels passing up the Channel, but, no sooner had ARROW been completed with a crew of prime hands than most were drafted to a troopship for the West Indies and Capt. VINCENT was obliged to sail with only two thirds his full complement which included a few landsmen volunteers from his home town of Newbury, Berkshire, procured at his own expense.
  • From July 1803 ARROW escorted the trade to Portugal, Gibraltar and Malta and in the following year visited most of the important places in the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Aegean seas.
    In March 1804, as she entered the Dardanelles with a convoy, she was fired on from the European shore. The British minister in Constantinople protested and the Governor was heavily fined. Capt. VINCENT was presented with an elegant sabre by the Turks.
  • At the island of Fano on 3 June 1804 Capt. VINCENT sent his boats, under the command of the 1st. lieutenant, Mr Cuthbert DALY, to attack the French privateer tartan, L'ACTIF (6) which had been hauled close to the beach under a cliff where a number of her crew armed with muskets had stationed themselves. The boats came under heavy musket and grape shot so ARROW supported them with a brisk fire and Lieut. DALY succeeded in boarding her and cutting her adrift. She soon after grounded so she was set on fire. A new vessel, fitted out at Livorno, she had about 74 men and rowed 24 oars. Thomas PATTERSON, master's mate and one seaman were killed and another died later. There were several wounded.
  • ARROW was struck by lightning off Cape Spartivento on 18 October 1804.
    There were no casualties or fire and the only damage was the loss of the main top-mast. She had suffered much storm damage during her time in the Mediterranean and the wooden water tanks in her hold, as well as many interior parts of the hull were found to be rotten. The dockyard at Malta decided that she was too weak to be heaved down, so she was ordered home to be docked in December 1804.
    Lord NELSON wrote to Capt. VINCENT ". . to convey to you my full approbation of your zealous activity in the various services performed by his Majesty's sloop under your command. "
  • In February 1805 ARROW and the bomb ACHERON (8), Cdr. Arthur FARQUHAR, escorted a convoy of 32 sail from Malta to England.
    At dawn on the 3rd. they sighted two sails off Cape Caxine on the Algerian coast which they hoped were missing ships from the convoy, but were soon identified as French frigates.
    (Actually HORTENSE (40), and INCORRUPTIBLE (38).) ARROW, which was leading the convoy, cast off her tow, the leaking ADVENTURE brig, and she and ACHERON placed themselves between the enemy and the convoy, which was instructed to make best speed to a designated rendezvous. The French could not get within range until the morning of the 4th. when the HORTENSE hailed ACHERON and then fired a broadside into her. She returned the fire and ARROW raked the French frigate. INCORRUPTIBLE did not take part in this attack, and it was not until two hours later that both frigates bore down. Capt. VINCENT signalled the transport, Duchess of Rutland, to assist in the action as the most effective ship of the convoy, but she did not even answer him. Both British vessels were armed only with carronades and the French could stand off and use their long guns.
    ARROW resisted for an hour before striking, her hold full of water and four guns dismounted, with 13 killed and 27 wounded, out of 132. She sank as soon as her people had been taken off. Lieut. Edward ELERS, 2nd of ARROW, and several men, had to jump overboard to avoid going down in her and were picked up by INCORRUPTIBLE's boats. Capt. VINCENT saved his Turkish sabre but a French officer managed to obtain hold of it and it could not be recovered.
    ACHERON surrendered about 15 minutes later with 3 killed and 8 wounded. She was so damaged that the French burnt her. Only three vessels of the convoy were taken, including the Duchess of Rutland, whose master also failed to destroy the Convoy Sinals and Instructions. ARROW's people were detained in Carthagena until May when Lord NELSON sent a cartel to take them to Gibraltar. Here they found a testimonial of thanks by the masters of the convoy ships which had escaped. Capt. VINCENT and his officers sailed for Portsmouth in the CAMEL storeship on 28 May and on 17 June they were honourably acquitted of blame for the loss of ARROW.
    Capt. VINCENT received a post commission two days later and Lloyd's presented him with a sword and a piece of plate, each worth 100 pounds.

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