Built in 1804, Plymouth.
Sold in 1814.
- 1805 Capt. Jonas ROSE, off Portuguese coast. Rear Ad. COCHRANE thought she was a remarkably fine vessel.
On 1 March he captured the Spanish privateer schooner FAMA off Oporto. She was armed with four brass guns and carried a crew of 62 men. She had made no captures in the 8 days since she had left Vigo.
Later in the year, Jamaica.
- 1807 Capt. Hugh PIGOTT, Leeward Is.
After a chase of 18 hours to the west of Barbados, CIRCE captured the French privateer brig AUSTERLITZ on 5 April 1807. The privateer had done more damage to trade than any other from Guadeloupe during the war, She had been chased by several frigates but had always escaped due to her superior sailing qualities, if she had not sprung her main-topsail yard and fore-topgallant-mast CIRCE would have had no chance in catching her.
- Capt. SELBY of CERBERUS, commanding the blockading squadron off Point a Pî tre, Guadeloupe, found it impossible to prevent the enemy privateers and their prizes from reaching port while they could shelter under the guns of Marie Galante. So he sent Capt. PIGOT with about 200 seamen and marines from CERBERUS, CIRCE and CAMILLA to attack the island. They landed at daylight on on 2 March 1808. There was no opposition apart from a few shot from one small battery and when they approached Grand Bourg the garrison surrendered and were made prisoners of war. Five 24-pounders, four 18-pounders and three smaller guns were found in the various batteries.
- At daylight on 31 October Capt. PIGOT, off Martinique, sighted a brig under jury masts coming before the wind. As CIRCE approached she hauled close round the Diamond Rock and, when the wind dropped, used her sweeps and a boat to get under the protection of a battery on Point Solomon. When CIRCE came up she struck after an action lasting 10 or 15 minutes and proved to be the French national corvette PALINEUR commanded by Lieut. Fourniers. She was armed with fourteen 24-pounder carronades and two 6-pounders, with soldiers of the 82nd regiment. CIRCE lost one man killed and one wounded, the French seven killed and eight wounded. A similar corvette, PYLADES, had been captured on the 28th. by POMPEE.
- At the end of the year Capt. Francis Augustus COLLIER was appointed to CIRCE as the senior officer of the blockading squadron between the Diamond and the Pearl Rocks, Martinique.
A letter from Capt. COLLIER to Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander COCHRANE gives a first-hand account of an action on 13 December 1808.
HMS. CIRCE off St. Pierre's, Martinique, 14 Dec. 1808.
On Monday, at 11 AM his Majesty's brig MORNE FORTUNEE, Lieut. BROWN, informed me by signal, that an enemy brig and two schooners were at anchor off the Pearl.
I immediately recalled the look-out vessels (STORK, Capt. G. LE GEYT; EPERVIER, Capt. T. T. TUCKER; and EXPRESS, Lieut. W. DOWERS) and made sail towards the enemy.
On our nearing St. Pierre I perceived a large French schooner towing along shore, under cover of a number of troops.
The schooner finding it impossible to get between St. Pierre and the CIRCE, the STORK closing fast,they ran her ashore under a battery of four guns, flanked by two smaller ones, and the enemy beach lined with troops.
The signal was then made to close with the enemy, and engage in succession, the CIRCE leading, followed by the STORK and MORNE FORTUNEE: being within pistol-shot the small batteries were soon silenced and the troops driven from the beach.
Seeing the brig and schooner unloading, I directed the MORNE FORTUNEE to watch the schooner in shore and to give similar orders to EPERVIER, on her coming up.
We then made sail towards the brig and the other schooner, which were lying well to windward, close to the beach, under cover of four batteries, and an immense number of troops and field-pieces which they had brought down to protect her.
Having placed the barge and two cutters under the command of Lieut. CROOKE, Mr COLLMAN (purser), Mr SMITH (master) and Mr THOMAS (carpenter), who handsomely volunteered with 68 men to bring the brig out.
I then made sail with the STORK and EXPRESS towards her and directed the boats to lie off until the brig's fire slackened.
It getting late, the vessels lying close in with the rocks, and having no pilot on board, I stood in, and was handsomely seconded by Capt. LE GEYT in STORK.
The ships did not commence until our men were wounded from the beach with musketry.
We then bore up under a heavy fire of great guns and small arms.
Having passed the batteries and the brig, the CIRCE's boats, not waiting for the STORK's to come up, boarded in the most gallant manner; and it is with extreme concern I have to add, that their gallantry did not meet with its due reward: they were beat back with dreadful slaughter; one boat taken and one sunk, the other entirely disabled.
Our loss in the boats killed, wounded and missing amounted to 56, 9 of whom were slain and 21 wounded.
By this time it was dark. I stood off until daylight, determining to persevere and destroy the brig if possible.
In the evening I was joined by AMARANTHE, who watched the brig during the night.
At 8 AM we perceived she had weighed: Capt. BRENTON, in the most handsome manner, volunteering to bring her out (she was then towing and sweeping close in shore towards St. Pierre), the boats of the CIRCE, STORK and men from the EXPRESS, were sent to tow the AMARANTHE up, who was at this time sweeping and using every exertion to close with the enemy.
At 10, the French brig grounded near several batteries to the northward of St. Pierre; the AMARANTHE tacked, and worked in under heavy fire from the batteries and the brig (from which she suffered considerably, having 1 killed and 5 wounded), followed by the CIRCE; the rest of the squadron engaging the batteries to leeward.
The AMARANTHE's well-directed fire soon obliged them to quit the brig.
Lieut. HAY, of that sloop, on this service distinguished himself very much, and speaks of the gallantry of Messrs. BROOKE and RIGMAIDED, of the same vessel, in very handsome terms, who, with the boats of CIRCE, AMARANTHE and STORK, boarded her under a heavy fire from the batteries and troops on shore.
Lieut. HAY, finding her bilged, and that it was impossible to get her off, effectually destroyed her in the evening.
Capt. BRENTON again volunteered to destroy the schooner then on shore: I ordered Lieut. George ROBINSON, second of the AMARANTHE, but acting first of the CIRCE, on this occasion to follow the directions of Capt. BRENTON.
At nine o'clock I had the pleasure to see her on fire, and burnt to the water's edge.
I am sorry to add, that, on this service, Mr JONES, master of the AMARANTHE was wounded, and one seamen killed and three wounded, belonging to the EXPRESS. (The STORK also had one man killed and one wounded)
The captains, officers, and men of the squadron you did me the honour to place under my command, behaved with that coolness and intrepidity inherent in British seamen, particularly the AMARANTHE, whose gallant conduct was noticed by the whole squadron.
From the troops of the Royal York Rangers, doing duty as marines, I received every assistance.
Lieut. CROOKE, who commanded the boats, I am sorry to say, is severely wounded in four places; the loss of this gallant young man's services is severely felt on board the CIRCE.
I am likewise sorry to add, that Mr COLLMAN is among the number dangerously wounded; his conduct on this, and other occasions, deserved my warmest approbation.
The brig destroyed was la CYGNE, of 18 guns and 140 men, with flour, guns, &c for the relief of Martinique. The two schooners had likewise flour, and were armed; I have not yet learnt their force or names; I am happy to say that the one left off the Pearl is on shore bilged.
(signed) "F. A.Collier"