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GRIPER (12) Built in 1813, Hythe.
For disposal in 1865.

  • 1814 Arthur M'MEEKAN.

    cruising in Channel.
  • 1815 Ditto, Nore.
  • 1816 Chatham.
  • 1820 Lieut. Matthew LIDDON, 01/1819, Arctic Sea.
    GRIPER was considerably strengthened to accompany Lieut. PARRY in HECLA on an expedition to follow the north-west passage from Lancaster Sound to the Bering Strait.
    On board were Lieut. Henry Parkyns HOPPNER,; Messrs. Andrew REID, Andrew SKENE and William GRIFFITHS, midshipmen; Mr Charles BEVERLEY, ass.
    surgeon and Cyrus WAKEHAM, clerk.
    They left Deptford at the beginning of May 1819 and crossed the Arctic circle on 3 July.
    The entrance to Lancaster Sound was reached on 28 July and on the 12th. a large inlet they were exploring was named Prince Regent's Inlet.
  • By the end of August the two ships had passed to the westward of Prince Leopold Island and through the Barrow Strait discovering and naming Melville Island and the Wellington Channel.
    On 4 September PARRY was able to announce that they had crossed the 110 W meridian and were entitled to a government award of 5,000.
    The ships wintered at Melville island after a canal of more than two miles had been cut through the ice.
    On 16 February the temperature fell to -55 deg.
    but early in March the snow began to melt and in May the ships were again afloat.
    The ice did not break until the last day of July and on 1 August the ships stood out to sea and after making more explorations in the Barrow Strait returned to the Thames in the middle of November 1820 and were both paid off at Deptford on 21 December.
  • 1822 Deptford.
  • 1823 Capt. Douglas CLAVERING, 02/1823, Part.
  • 1824 Capt. George LYON, 01/1824, Deptford for a voyage of discovery to the Arctic. She had a complement of 41 persons including Lieuts. Peter MANICO and Francis HARDING; Nicholas KENDALL, ass.
    surveyor; Mr John TOM, midshipman; Thomas EVANS, purser, and William LEYSON, ass.
    surgeon. She sailed from the Nore on 16 June 1824 accompanied by the surveying-vessel SNAP, which carried her spare bower-anchor and part of her stores as far as Labrador.
    They called at Kirkwall in the Orkney's where Lieut. MANICO obtained two ponies.
    On 8 August GRIPER struck a shoal extending from one of the Middle Savage Is.
    off the south coast of Baffin Is.
    but she forced her way over it in spite of having a fully loaded draft of 16 feet.
    On the 12th., while alongside a large floe, they were visited by about 60 Eskimos in 11 boats.
    In the course of barter they acquired four puppies.
  • On the morning of the 29th. they landed to obtain water but later in the day a gale sprang up which drove them towards a shoal.
    The tiller broke twice and Capt. LYON expected the masts to go at any moment.
    They managed to keep headway on the ship and at noon the following day the sights showed them to be over the place assigned in the chart to Southampton Is.
    with soundings between 70 and 50 fathoms.
    When they were struck by heavy seas in shoal water off Cape Fullerton Capt. LYON brought her up with three bowers and a stream anchor but, with the ship pitching bows under, the best bower parted although the others held.
    As preparations were made for launching the boats the the ship was lifted by a tremendous sea and struck along the whole length of her keel.
    With only six feet of water under the keel she continued to strike with sufficient force to have wrecked a weaker vessel and the waves continually broke over her.
    After dark heavy rain beat down the gale and as the tide rose the ship kept off the ground through the night.
    In the morning they managed to recover all their anchors and Capt. LYON named the anchorage "Bay of God's Mercy."
  • On 12 September, off the mouth of Wager Bay, a gale struck the sluggish GRIPER and she remained on a lee shore pitching fore-castle under without making any progress.
    Fortunately the anchors held but falling sleet covered the decks and great seas broke over them.
    At dawn the following day, after receiving two overwhelming seas, the cables parted but, it being slack water and the wind having come round to blow along the land, the ship's head fell off to seaward and within a quarter of an hour they were in 17 fathoms.
  • GRIPER ran into the Atlantic on the night of 2 October and for the first time since 28 August Capt. LYON enjoyed a night of uninterrupted repose.
    The following day they were fortunate enough to find a small iceberg and were able to fill their tanks with water but the following day the moderate breeze changed to a heavy gale with a long swell which lasted for twelve days.
    On the 12th. they spoke the PHOENIX, whaler, of Whitby; and on the 19th. the ACHILLES of Dundee.
    From the 26th. the wind became fair again and on 8 November the coast of Cornwall was sighted.
    The ship passed the Needles on the 10th. and ran into Portsmouth where she was paid off on 12 December.

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