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DEFIANCE (74) Built in 1783, Rotherhithe.
Hulk in 1813.

  • 1794 Capt. KEPPEL, 10/1794.
  • 1795 Capt. Sir George HORNE.
  • 1796 Capt T. JONES, 03/1796.
  • 1799 Capt. T. R. SHIVERS, 03/1799, Channel Fleet.
  • 1800 Plymouth.
    On 3 August orders came down from the Admiralty for three line-of-battle ships and a frigate to proceed to the Downs directly.
    In October she was with the flying squadron off the Black Rocks.
  • On Sunday 29 December the AUTOMATIA (32) sailed from Plymouth to Calcutta for rice.
    The following day she carried away all her masts during a violent squall off the Lizard and DEFIANCE towed her to Falmouth.
  • 1801 Capt. RETALICK, Channel Fleet.
  • In April 1801 she was in the NELSON's squadron which engaged the Danish line at Copenhagen If BELLONA and RUSSEL had not grounded and AGAMEMNON had not been forced to anchor, the Crown islands batteries would have been silenced and DEFIANCE and MONACH would not have suffered such heavy losses.
  • DEFIANCE lost Lieut. George GRAY, Mr Matthew COBB, pilot, 17 seamen, 3 marines and 2 soldiers killed; Mr PATTERSON, boatswain, Mr GALLAWAY, midshipman, Mr NIBLET, captain's clerk, Mr STEPHENSON, pilot, 35 seamen, 5 marines and 7 soldiers wounded.
  • To counter preparations for invasion being made along the French coast DEFIANCE and five other 74's were recalled from the Baltic in June to rejoin the Channel Fleet off Brest.
  • 1803 under repair at Portsmouth.
  • 1805 Capt. Philip DURHAM, Channel Fleet.
    DEFIANCE was with Vice Ad. Sir Robert CALDER on 22 July 1805 when he attacked the combined Franco-Spanish squadron off Finisterre.
    The action was fought for more than fours hours in fog so thick that they could barely see the ship ahead or astern.
    Two Spanish ships were captured, ST. RAFAEL (84), and FIRME (74) and taken into the Royal navy.
    DEFIANCE lost 1 man killed and 7 wounded.
  • To join Lord NELSON on 23 September. She was in Vice Ad. COLLINGWOOD's lee division at the battle of Trafalgar on 21 October.
    DEFIANCE, REVENGE and PRINCE partially engaged the PRINCIPE DE ASTURIAS before DEFIANCE lashed herself alongside the crippled AIGLE.
    A party led by Lieut. Thomas SIMONS boarded her, gained possession of the poop and quarter-deck, and hoisted British colours, but they were soon driven back to their own ship by musket fire from the forecastle, waist and tops which mortally wounded Lieut. SIMONS.
    DEFIANCE cut the lashing and sheered off.
    Twenty minutes firing was required before AIGLE surrendered and a boat from DEFIANCE took possession of her.
    DEFIANCE lost 17 killed and 53 wounded.
    In the gale which followed the battle AIGLE drifted into Cadiz Bay and was wrecked on the bar of Port Santa Maria on the night of the 25th.
  • 1807 Capt. Henry HOTHAM, 03/OO, Channel fleet.
  • 1808 Ditto, re-fitting at Plymouth.
  • On 23 February 1809 DEFIANCE was with Rear Ad. STOPFORD's squadron when they chased three enemy frigates into the Sable d'Olonne where they took shelter under shore batteries.
    DEFIANCE with her shallow draft was able to anchor within half a mile of them, closer than CAESAR or DONEGAL.
    Before the ebbing tide made her get under sail her fire forced two of the enemy ships to cut and run on shore.
    DEFIANCE, whose masts were damaged, lost 2 men killed and 25 wounded.
  • In the summer DEFIANCE operated off the north coast of Spain.
    After Marshal Ney's defeat by Spanish forces at the Payo Bridge, the French fell back on Corunna on 13 June and immediately began to evacuate Corunna and Ferrol.
    On the 26th. Capt. HOTHAM sent AMAZON into Ferrol and there Capt. PARKER found that the castle was still in enemy hands and they were threatening to fire on any British ship.
    So DEFIANCE joined AMAZON and armed seamen and marines were landed from the two ships.
    They entered the castle without opposition and the governor was arrested in the name of King Ferdinand and sent on board DEFIANCE.
    DEFIANCE entered Corunna on the 28th. and found that the place had already declared for King Ferdinand.
    Two days later Gen. Garrera arrived with 11,000 men of the Spanish army.
  • About New Year's Eve the Hull whaling ship ELLISON arrived in Plymouth, having been cut out from under the guns of the fort at Pallas in Belleisle by the boats of DEFIANCE. She had been captured on 23 December some 200 miles S. W. of Cape Clear by the French privateer GASCOINE whilst on a voyage to Quebec.*
  • 1810.
    On 1 June the boats of DEFIANCE under the directions of Lieuts. William STYLE and George HUTCHINSON, after a pursuit of 6 hours rowing, captured and brought out from under two batteries at Belleisle, and the fire of some field pieces and armed vessels, three French vessels laden with wine and rosin for l'Orient.
  • 1811 Capt. Richard RAGGETT, River Scheldt off Flushing.
  • 1812 Ditto, off the Texel.
    On 1 April, William Scoresby's ship from the Greenland Fishery was between the Orkney's and the Shetlands when they saw a large warship coming up fast astern.
    Alarmed, they called all hands to quarters, and were relieved to learn that she was DEFIANCE, on passage from Leith to Greenock. She enquired if Scoresby was going through the Pentland Firth, "seemingly being a stranger to that Navigation."*
  • 1813 Hulk at Chatham.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips