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BACCHANTE (38) Built in 1811, Deptford.
Hospital ship in 1837.

  • She was launched in November 1811 and Capt. William HOSTE, newly returned from his victory at Lissa in AMPHION, was appointed her first captain. David DUNN, his first lieutenant in AMPHION and now promoted to commander, was acting captain until she was ready for sea the following March when she sailed to Portsmouth. A number of officers and men from AMPHION joined her; Mr Donat (Dennis) O'BRIAN, the first lieutenant, and most of the midshipmen, William YOUNG came with him as chaplain. John ROSE was appointed Master in January. She sailed on 3 June 1812 for the Mediterranean and a month later arrived at Port Mahon in Minorca. She left again almost immediately to join Vice Ad. PELLEW off Toulon where Capt. HOSTE received orders to return to the area he knew best the Adriatic.
    BACCHANTE reached Lissa early in August to come under the orders of Rear Ad. Thomas FREMANTLE and she was sent north to blockade Venice.
    After receiving information that several vessels, laden with ship timber for Venice, were at Port Lema (Leme, a fjord-like channel about 5 miles north of Rovigno in Istria), Capt. HOSTE sent in his boats under Lieut. O'BRIEN to bring them out on the evening of 31 August. The lieutenant captured two merchantmen at the entrance and learnt that the convoy was escorted by a xebec and two gunboats, a force superior to his own. Nevertheless he pressed on and, assisted by the third lieutenant, Mr GOSLING, and Lieut. HAIG of the Royal Marines, captured all the enemy vessels without loss. They were TISIPHONE, a French national xebec of one 6-pounder and two 3-pounders; Gunboat No. 1 with one 9-pounder and two 3-pounders; Gunboat No. 2 with one 9-pounder and seven vessels from the convoy. The warships, with 72 men, were intended for the protection of trade between Pola and Trieste.
  • At daybreak on the morning of 18 September Capt. HOSTE discovered an enemy convoy between Vasto and Tremite (? Termoli) on the coast of Apulia. They were standing along the shore to the north-west but calm and baffling winds prevented the ship from approaching so Lieut. O'BRIEN, assisted by Mr Silas HOOD, the second lieutenant, went in with the boats to intercept them. As soon as the boats approached the enemy hauled their vessels on shore and the crews took shelter in a thick wood; eight vessels, each armed with a 12-pounder gun, anchored along the shore to protect them. The boats pushed in through a hail of grape and musketry, fired their carronades at about 50 yards then boarded the enemy vessels and drove their crews from them. The marines, under Lieut. HAIG, landed at the same time and drove the enemy out of the wood. They found themselves in possession of 26 vessels, 18 laden with oil and almonds. Two seamen from BACCHANTE were slightly wounded.
    Unfortunately the wind increased after dark and some of the prizes, including the midshipmen commanding two of them, were lost before they could reach Lissa. Another midshipman was rescued from his sinking prize.
  • After BACCHANTE returned to Lissa a young volunteer, Hon. Charles ANSON, was killed when one of her guns suddenly fired itself, an accident for which no satisfactory explanation was ever found.
  • In the new year BACCHANTE moved south and was stationed off Corfu.
    On 6 January 1813 BACCHANTE and WEAZLE, off Otranto, intercepted five armed vessels sailing from Corfu to collect money at Otranto to pay troops on the island. The enemy separated and Capt. HOSTE detached his boats under Lieut. O'BRIEN to attack one division of three vessels and ordered WEAZLE's boats, with one from BACCHANTE under midshipman WEBB, to chase the other two, who were trying to reach Fano. WEAZLE was directed to support her boats whilst BACCHANTE continued with what little wind there was. Mr WEBB with only 18 men and a 3-pounder gun boarded and carried the sternmost enemy in spite of the warm reception from the 40 men on board.
    He left her to the other boats which were coming up and pressed on to take the other. Although they met a spirited resistance, BACCHANTE's boats, under Lieuts. O'BRIEN, HOOD and GOSLING of BACCHANTE carried their three opponents without loss. Four of the vessels: INDOMPTABLE, DILIGENTE, ARROGANTE and SALAMINE were armed with one 64-pounder and one 6-pounder, the other, CALYPSO with a single 12 pounder. All the guns were mounted on pivots which enabled them to keep up a very smart fire as the boats approached. They carried 178 men between them and appeared to be the only armed vessels the enemy had at Corfu. Two of the enemy were severely wounded. The other officers employed in BACCHANTE's boats were: Mr POWELL, Mr ROUS, Mr WALDEGRAVE, Mr M'KEAN, Mr FEW, Mr HOSTE and Mr POCOCK.
    CALYPSO, with a prize crew commanded by Midshipman POCOCK was lost in a storm while sailing for Zante and the prize crew of another was murdered by the prisoners on board.
  • In February the ALCINOUS, a French gunboat with two guns, was taken off Otranto with eight trading vessels under her convoy. Another capture was the VIGILANTE, a French gunboat carrying dispatches from Corfu to Otranto and having a General Corda (?Borde) and his staff on board as passengers.
  • On 11 May Capt. HOSTE received information that an enemy convoy was lying at Karlebago (Karlobag) but contrary winds prevented his arrival before until the morning of the 15th.
    by which time the convoy had sailed. Since the port offered excellent shelter to the enemy he decided to destroy the works defending it. The governor, Mons. de Zergollen rejected his call to surrender so BACCHANTE was anchored within pistol shot of the batteries and bombarded them until a flag of truce was shown. The marines and a detachment of seamen under Lieut. HOOD went ashore and blew up the castle and other works. The guns, four 9-pounders, two 12-pounders and two brass sixes were embarked and the governor with his aide-de-camp taken on board as prisoners.
    Two seamen, Michael CALLAGHAN and Joseph EYERS, each lost an arm. John M'EVOY, seaman, was severely wounded and John THOMPSON (3), seaman, was slightly wounded.
  • At daylight on 9 June an enemy convoy was discovered off Guila Nova (Gala Nova) on the Abruzzi coast. As he was 6 or 7 miles to leeward, Capt. HOSTE decided to detach his boats with orders to Lieut. HOOD to attack if the opposition was not too strong or otherwise wait for the frigate to come up. The enemy was found to consist of seven large gunboats, each mounting an 18-pounder, three smaller gunboats with 4-pounders and fourteen merchant men, four of which were armed with a 4-pounder in the bow. Troops, with two field pieces, lined the beach astern of them. Although the convoy was stronger than expected, they did not hesitate and the boats advanced to the attack through a hail of grape and musketry. One by one the enemy were driven from their vessels, many of which ran aground. The men were exposed to scattered musket fire as they tried to get them afloat but when they came under fire, the hundred or so troops on the beach fled and their guns were destroyed by the marines. The merchant vessels were laden with oil and bound for Barletta from Ancona.
    BACCHANTE's losses were: John HINTON and Charles DREMINSKY, seamen and Edward OVERIND, marine, killed; Nicholas REDMORE,seaman, died of wounds. Thomas MELVIN, George PAYNE, John VENTLING and Patrick DAVID, seamen, all severely wounded, as was William SPOONER, marine. The other officers taking part were Lieut. F. GOSLING; Mr WEBB, now an acting lieutenant; Lieuts. HOLMES and HAIG of the Royal Marines and Messrs. REES, ROUS, HOSTE, FAREWELL, WALDEGRAVE, LANGTON, M'KEAN and RICHARDSON.
    One of the prizes, under the command of Mr ROUS, filled and upset in a heavy sea during the following night but the buoyancy of the cargo kept it afloat. He and his crew managed to hold on to the gunwale from midnight until 4 AM when they were rescued by Mr WALDEGRAVE.
  • On 1 July Rear Ad. Thomas FREEMANTLE's squadron, MILFORD, ELIZABETH, EAGLE, BACCHANTE and HAUGHTY passed through the Quarnier Channel and anchored about four miles from Fiume on the evening of the 2nd. The following morning they weighed and with a light breeze from the S. W. sailed to attack the four batteries, each mounting fifteen heavy guns, which protected the port. A detachment of boats and marines was left with HAUGHTY to storm the Mole Head as soon as the guns were silenced. Unfortunately the wind shifted to the S. E. and, with the current from the river, EAGLE could only fetch the second battery. However the enemy could not stand the concentrated fire of the ship and the admiral gave the order to storm so Capt. ROWLEY led in the marines and they took possession of the fort. Capt. HOSTE and MILFORD's marines then took the first battery which was under fire from BACCHANTE and MILFORD. A party of seamen turned the guns of the second battery on to those still occupied by the enemy while Capt. ROWLEY, closely followed by Capt. HOSTE and his division, dashed into the town. At first they were hindered by musket fire from the windows of houses and a field piece in the centre of the road but the enemy retreated and abandoned the town when the carronades in the boats opened up on them. Although there had been more than 350 troops in the town only one man was killed, a marine from EAGLE. Most of the vessels captured in the harbour were returned to their owners but 13, laden with oil, grain and powder, were sent down to Lissa. Ad. FREEMANTLE reported that no private property in the town had been plundered.
  • On the 5th. the squadron moved some 12 miles S. E. along the coast to Porto Re. Capts. HOSTE and MARKLAND landed with the marines but found that the forts there had been destroyed and abandoned by the French. A convoy of thirteen vessels had been scuttled in Bocca Re but only one of them could be recovered.
  • EAGLE and BACCHANTE saw a convoy of 21 sail at anchor in the harbour at Rovigno on the evening of 2 August. BACCHANTE led in and the two frigates commenced firing on the batteries.
    When they were abandoned Capt. HOSTE landed with the marines drove the enemy out of the town and destroyed the works.
    The enemy scuttled most of their vessels but one gunboat armed with an 18-pounder and two armed trabaccolos laden with salt were captured.
  • Austria declared war on France in August 1813 and at the end of the month General Nugent, with about 2,000 Austrians and some Croats, set up his headquarters at Lippa about 22 miles from Fiume.
    600 French soldiers and about 1,500 Croats from Pola marched to relieve Fiume but the Croats disarmed the French and handed them over to General Nugent as prisoners.
    Everywhere the Croatians flocked to the Imperial standard and by this time nearly all the islands from Lissa up were free of the French who still retained their fortresses at Cattaro and Ragusa.
  • On 27 September General Nugent moved on Trieste and BACCHANTE sailed to Duino, 8 or 9 miles north of the town, with a company of Austrian troops to take part in the siege.
    Trieste finally capitulated on 29 October.
    BACCHANTE's second lieutenant, Mr Richard SAUMAREZ, transported a body of Croatian troops from Bocca di Cattaro to Fiume for the protection of the town. He then offered his services to Gen. Nugent during the siege of Trieste and was sent by Rear Ad. FREMANTLE to Prince Maximillian with the surrender terms. He was then ordered to take dispatches to BACCHANTE at Melida. When he found that the transport vessel he was using could not cope with the contrary winds, he changed to an open boat and pulled along the coast from Lissa to reach Capt. HOSTE in November. During a violent gale he had to take refuge for three days on an uninhabited island between Lissa and Curzola.
  • When Ad. FREMANTLE learnt from Capt. HARPER of SARACEN that the local population around Cattaro had revolted, and that the French were besieged in their forts, he sent BACCHANTE with a detachment of the Curzola garrison under Capt. Lowen to stabilise the situation pending the arrival of the Austrians. Capt. HOSTE arrived off Ragusa on 12 October and took SARACEN and two Sicilian gunboats under his orders and they sailed at once for Cattaro. The following morning they forced the passage between Castel Nuova and the Fort of Rosa and the squadron anchored about three miles above Castel Nuova.
  • In the evening Capt. HARPER was sent with the gunboats, BACCHANTE's launch and barge and the boats of his own sloop, to capture the enemy's armed vessels lying between the island of St. George and the town of Cattaro. He found four gunboats with their crews in a state of revolt so he immediately took possession and, manning them with a mixture of English seamen and local volunteers, gave command to Lieut. GOSTING. At Peroste the local inhabitants had driven the French from a small castle so Capt. HARPER, hoisting the English and Austrian colours, turned the three guns on the fortifications on St. George's island. The newly acquired gunboats joined in the attack and after fifteen minutes bombardment the enemy offered to capitulate. Capt. HARPER landed the marines and gave command of the island to Lieut. GOSTLING.
    The Castel Nuova and Fort Espagnol surrendered on the 16th. and, with the armed locals patrolling the countryside, Cattaro was now blockaded by land and water. General Gauthier, the French commander retired to Fort St. John, the only fortified position left to the French.
    Capt. HOSTE immediately ordered Capt. HARPER to lay siege to the fort and because of opposing wind and current, SARACEN had to be hauled along the rocky shore for about 3 miles by the local inhabitants. She anchored near Cattaro on the 20 November and preparations were made to instal a battery on the opposite heights. To the astonishment of the French, Capt. HARPER managed to get an 18-pounder mounted 3,000 feet up Mount Theodore.
  • Meanwhile BACCHANTE anchored off Spaleto (Split) and her marines and men from the 35th. regiment occupied the town until the Austrians arrived. She then sailed to Lissa before, on 8 November, took part in an attack on the islands of Lesina and Brazzo and, a few days later, landing troops at Ragusa Vecchia (Cavtat). Lieut. GOSLING was killed in an accident with an explosive charge when trying to destroy a fort.
  • She returned to the Gulf of Cattaro on 12 December and her men under Lieut. MILBOURNE mounted other pieces of ordnance. By Christmas day fire was opened from four different points and on 1 January 1814 two additional batteries of 18 and 32-pounders began to play on the castle.
    On the 3rd., when a assault was planned the French asked for terms and General Gauthier capitulated on the 5th. On which occasion Capt. HOSTE remarked to his second in command "Come Harper, you were the first to conceive the expedition, let SARACEN take possession of Cattaro. " Cattaro contained 130 guns and 900 men!
  • When BACCHANTE arrived at Ragusa on 19 January Capt. HOSTE found the place invested by General Milutinovitch and two Croat battalions of 400 men, but no artillery had yet arrived.
    Four mortars and two guns were immediately landed and opened fire on Fort Lorenzo and the defences of the town on the morning of the 22nd.
    To secure the approaches to the town two more 18-pounders were landed and Lieut. MILBOURNE and his seamen managed to bring one gun round the mountains at the back of Ragusa, a distance of some 6 miles, to command the island of Croma.
    On the morning of the 27th. the French general asked for a truce and the capitulation was signed on the 28th. 138 guns and 500 men were taken. After the surrender BACCHANTE took a detachment of the 35 regiment to Trieste and, on 22 March, she went to the town of Parga on the coast of Albania after the inhabitants had requested assistance against the French garrison of 170 men commanded by a colonel. The French flag was hauled down as soon as the frigate arrived and Capt. HOSTE took possession of the town.
    Later, while reconnoitring the French vessels at Corfu, BACCHANTE went aground on a reef and twenty-four 18-pounders had to be dropped overboard, together with third shot, before she could be got off. With help from WEAZLE eleven of the guns were recovered.
  • BACCHANTE returned to Malta on 20 April 1814 and Capt. HOSTE, a sick and tired man, sailed for England as a passenger in CERBERUS on 5 May.
  • 1814 Capt. Francis STANFELL, Gulf of Venice.
    After the close of the war with France to Bermuda and North America. She was with Rear Ad. Edward GRIFFITH's squadron, ENDYMION, TENEDOS, DRAGON, BACCHANTE, BULWARK, RIFLEMAN, SYLPH, PERUVIAN and PICTON, at the capture of Castine in Penobscot Bay on 1 September and afterwards, while a naval and military force was attacking the USS. ADAMS up river at Hamden, she and RIFLEMAN were sent with troops to take possession of Belfast, a town on the western side of the bay, to cut the high road to Boston and prevent communication with the rest of the country. After the ADAMS was destroyed the troops at Belfast were re-embarked. Capt. PARKER of TENEDOS took BACCHANTE, RIFLEMAN and the PICTON schooner under his command and they sailed on the 6th. for Machias, the only place between Castine and Passamaquaddy Bay still occupied by the enemy. They rejoined ENDYMION after destroying the defences there.
  • BACCHANTE paid off at Portsmouth in July 1815.
  • In the same month Lieut. SAUMAREZ appeared before a court martial on board GLADIATOR. He was charged with severely punishing two boys, one with two dozen, the other with three dozen lashes, without the consent of the captain and contrary to the 33rd. article of war (oppressive punishment) and not informing the captain afterwards. The lieutenant pleaded that the punishment was not severe and the custom of the service. He was admonished for punishing the boys, but the charge of punishment contrary to Art. 33 was not proved.

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