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HERCULE (74) Taken by Capt. Alexander HOOD in MARS off Brest on 21 April 1798.
Broken up in 1810.

  • 1799 Plymouth.

    In April 1801 she went into dock to be repaired.
    Completely repaired and coppered she left dock on the spring tide at 7 o'clock in the evening on Monday 27 July and went alongside the Jetty head. She was commissioned by Capt. LUKE on 1 August and her lower masts were got in the same day.
    By 28 August she had finished taking in her new guns and on the 30th. she made the signal for going into the Sound, but the wind dropped, and she finished up on the moorings opposite Government House.
    Her crew was completed during October by drafts from smaller vessels of war, and she finally sailed to join the fleet in Torbay on 4 November.
  • 1803 Capt. Solomon FERRIS, Portsmouth.
    On 11 January she received an extra 20 Royal Marines from the headquarters at Portsmouth and on the 25th. she was ordered to be fitted and stored for 12 months and sail immediately for the Mediterranean.
    Two months advance of wages was paid to the crew by the Commissioner, Sir Charles Saxton, on 7 February.
    After waiting for orders at St. Helen's she finally sailed on 3 March for the West Indies. She arrived off Guadeloupe on 5 April before proceeding to Jamaica.
    Capt. FERRIS was senior captain of the squadron on that station for only a few weeks, he died on his ship in Port Royal harbour on 26 May 1803 after only two days' illness.
  • 1803 Capt. Richard Dalling DUNN, flagship of Sir John DUCKWORTH, Jamaica, from July 1803.
    On 30 November three French frigates, four other national vessels and twenty merchantmen surrendered at Cape Francois, and the French army of Gen. Rochambeau, which had surrendered to escape from the black forces of Dessalines, was brought off by Sir John's blockading squadron.
    One of the French frigates, the CLORINDE, with 900 men, women and children on board grounded, under Fort St. Joseph at the entrance of the harbour.
    The British boats, assuming nothing could be done to save them, were returning to their ships, but Lieut. (act.) Nisbet WILLOUGHBY in HERCULE's launch decided to make an effort.
    Using a small punt he boarded CLORINDE and demanded her surrender from the French General Lapoype.
    He then hoisted British colours and went ashore to inform Dessalines that the frigate was now a British warship and that her flag should be respected.
    About this time three other boats from HERCULE arrived and she was soon hove off with the loss of her guns and rudder.
    Mr Eaton TRAVERS, a midshipman from HERCULE, swam ashore to the rocks with a line and was able to haul over a rope with sufficient strength for a spring.
  • On 31 January 1804 a squadron consisting of THESEUS, with Capt. John BLIGH as senior officer, HERCULE, BLANCHE, PIQUE and the GIPSY schooner, arrived off St. Ann in Curacao to demand the surrender of the island.
    The terms, taken ashore in the schooner by Capt. ROSS of PIQUE, were rejected, so an attack was launched.
    The boats of the squadron, with 605 officers and men, assembled alongside HERCULE; the whole detachment under the command of Capt. DUNN.
    THESEUS, making short tacks within half musket shot bombarded Fort Piscadero until the first division of seamen and marines, which included 40 seamen from HERCULE under Lieut. WILLOUGHBY and Mr TRAVERS, stormed and carried the fort.
    Two 18-pounder carronades and a field piece were landed from THESEUS and dragged four miles to form a post about 800 yards west of the town which was placed under the command of Lieut. WILLOUGHBY.
    Mr TRAVERS was placed in command of a battery near by where he continued under fire from the fort Republicaine until 25 February when orders were given to re-embark.
    On 5 February the two officers from HERCULE, with Lieut. Nicholls, RM,and 80-85 men charged an attacking force of 500 Dutch soldiers and French privateer sailors and put them to flight, but losing 23 killed or wounded in the process.
    Altogether 18 were killed and 42 severely wounded during the 25 days.
    The British were forced to abandon the expedition by increasing casualties, dysentery and the threatened desertion of 30 of HERCULE's marines, who were Polish volunteers from the French army taken at Cape Francois.
  • On 14 March HERCULE's launch under Lieut. WILLOUGHBY, with two other boats under Lieut. RUSSEL and Mr TRAVERS, captured the French privateer FELICITE which had sailed from San Domingo to intercept two valuable merchantmen about to sail from Port Royal.
    The launch, with an 18-pounder carronade, was towed with in grape-shot distance and the enemy, after firing a few shots, surrendered without waiting to be boarded.
    Mr George Lawrence BELLI, midshipman, and two men were severely wounded in the launch.
  • At the end of August 1804 HERCULE accompanied Rear Ad. DACRES in THESEUS in a cruise to the north-west of San Domingo.
    On 6 September, while about 54 miles north-east of the Silver Keys, she was struck by a severe hurricane.
    The fore-top-mast was blown over the side and all the seamen were too paralysed with fright to clear the wreckage until Lieuts. WILLOUGHBY and RUSSEL and Mr STEWART, the gunner, mounted into the fore-top and cut it away, thus saving the lower mast.
    Shortly afterwards the mizzen mast went by the board, followed, the next morning, by the main-mast.
    All the main deck ports and dead lights were stove in and for a long period the water in the hold gained on the pumps.
    On the third day a fire was lit for the first time.
    THESEUS lost all her masts and suffered more than her consort.
    More than 300 vessels either foundered or were wrecked by the hurricane.
  • On 1 February 1805 HERCULE captured a merchant schooner bound for Carthagena from Cuba and from one of the prisoners it was learnt that a Spanish 20-gun corvette was lying at St. Martha.
    On 4 February Lieut. WILLOUGHBY, three passed midshipmen and 30 volunteers left in the prize, taking with them provision for 14 days, to attack her.
  • For two nights the weather was so bad that it was impossible for a man to remain at the helm, but on the 6th. they entered the harbour at St. Martha with Mr Samuel ROBERTS, midshipman, at the wheel.
    His face and hands were blackened with burnt cork and grease and he wore a check shirt with a French kerchief.
    The only two crew visible were a black and a mulatto.
    They passed the batteries without challenge only to discover that the corvette had sailed and there was no other vessel worth taking.
    Their cover was blown as they put about and a steady.
    but fortunately inaccurate, fire pursued them for about an hour.
  • 1805 Capt. DACRES, Jamaica.
    Flag-ship of Rear Ad. J. R.

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