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IMMORTALITE (42) Taken by Capt. T.B. MARTIN in FISGARD off Brest on 20 October 1798.
Broken up in 1806.

  • 1799 Capt J. DRAPER, 10/1799. Plymouth.
  • 1800 Capt. H. HOTHAM, fitting out at Plymouth.
    On 20 September she retook the Quebec ship MERCURY, laden with timber for London, which had been captured by the French privateer BELLONE (36) on the 16th. MERCURY arrived, damaged, in Plymouth on the 27th.
    At the beginning of November IMMORTALITE ran a famous French privateer, the TROIS DIABLES of 18 guns, on the coast of France where she was totally destroyed.
    IMMORTALITE arrived back in Plymouth on 16 November after receiving damage in a gale off the French coast.
  • Capt. HOTHAM received orders on 25 November to fit out IMMORTALITE for foreign service. She sailed on 10 January 1801, returned on the 15th. and sailed again on 18th. for the Straits of Gibraltar.
    On passage she fell in with Gantheaume's squadron, which had been engaged by CONCORDE on 27 January.
    Capt. HOTHAM did not know of this but noted that two of the enemy ships appeared to be disabled.
  • IMMORTALITE returned to Plymouth on 27 February. A Swedish vessel, laden with salt from Alicante for Copenhagen, which she had detained had arrived on the 24th. and a Danish brig on the 26th.
    During the night of 19 March, and through to the afternoon of the following day, the wind blew with hurricane force causing a tremendous rolling sea in Plymouth Sound and the Catwater. IMMORTALITE, SIRIUS, FISGARD and SANTA MARGARETTA, all signalled that their moorings were dragging, but,by getting out more anchors they all managed to ride out the storm although they pitched and rolled most dreadfully.
    She sailed again on 24 March 1801 for a cruise.
    On 2 May she brought in to Plymouth a beautiful French corvette, the LOURE of eighteen 6-pounders and 110 men, from St. Malo, which had committed great depredation on British trade. She sailed again on the 5th. and, on the 8th., IMMORTALITE, DORIS and UNICORN looked into the Outer Road of Brest and counted 7 three-deckers, 13 two-deckers, 3 frigates and 4 corvettes, which were apparently ready for sea.
  • At the beginning of June IMMORTALITE's pilot volunteered to go ashore and gather information on the Brest fleet. He visited a number of wine shops, drank with the troops and learnt the strength of the Franco/Spanish fleet which was to carry 15,000 troops to Egypt on the first easterly wind. There were 20 sails-of-the-line plus two frigates, FURIOUS and SYRENNE, with which IMMORTALITE had had an engagement. After eight days, when it was assumed that he had been captured as a spy, he forced a fisherman at gunpoint to return him to the ship.
  • On 2 August IMMORTALITE brought into Plymouth a beautiful French corvette privateer, of 24 guns and 170 men, called the INVENTION, of St. Malo. She was of curious construction, designed by her commander M. Thibaut, 148 feet long and 25 feet beam, with four masts fully rigged in the usual way. She was on her first cruise and was captured after a long chase on 27 July which ended when ARETHUSA joined in.
  • On 4 May 1802 orders came down for Capt. HOTHAM to take on board 150 discharged Irish seamen for Cork, Waterford and Dublin. She sailed on the 17th. in snow. On 6 June she arrived at Portsmouth.
  • Capt. Edward William Campbell OWEN, 06/1802. He returned to Portsmouth from Weymouth on 6 July.
    On the 11 July several distress guns were heard from the eastward and IMMORTALITE, MAGICIENNE and PIQUE instantly got under weigh from Spithead to investigate. They found that the WOOLWICH storeship had gone aground on the oars while coming round from the Downs. IMMORTALITE sailed again on a cruise on the 14th.
    On 18 May 1803 Napoleon interned all British subjects and the following day Lord KEITH hoisted his flag as C.-in-C. north Sea station. Under his command watching Calais were IMMORTALITE, JALOUSE and LYNX.
    On the morning of 14 June 1803 IMMORTALITE, JALOUSE and CRUIZER, which had been off Dunkirk, chased two French vessels, the schooner INABORDABLE and the brig COMMODE, ashore on the eastern side of Cap Blanc Nez. After about an hour's firing from the sloops, the boats brought them off under heavy musket fire from the shore.
  • By 1 July Lord KEITH had deployed IMMORTALITE, LEDA, LARK, RANGER, ARCHER, JALOUSE and CONFLICT, with the COUNTESS OF ELGIN and two other cutters, to cover the French coast between Calais and Cherbourg and prevent attacks on the coastal trade as far as Beachy Head.
  • On 14 September Capt. OWEN, in company with the PERSEUS and EXPLOSION bombs, attacked the batteries protecting the town of Dieppe and the 17 vessels building there.
    After more than three hours the town was on fire in three places so he ordered the bombs to weigh and proceeded with them off St. Valery en Caux, where six vessels were under construction, and bombarded that place for an hour. The Boatswain of IMMORTALITE and three seamen were slightly wounded by splinters, but did not leave their quarters. Capt. OWEN praised the conduct of his first lieutenant, Mr C. F. PAYNE.
    Finding that there were several vessels in the harbour at Fecamp on 20 September, as well as six or seven building, Capt. OWEN ordered PERSEUS and EXPLOSION to bombard it while IMMORTALITE attacked the pier head and the batteries. After an hour and a half EXPLOSION had used up all her shells so he made the signal to disengage.
  • From the observations he had made while cruising off the French coast, Capt. OWEN considered that it would be possible for bomb vessels to approach sufficiently near to throw shells into the town of Boulogne but he doubted if they could hit the small targets presented by the vessels in the harbour. The harbour was of course well protected by numerous batteries. He reported in this vein to Lord KEITH.
    His close observations continued through the winter. At the beginning of December he was hampered by fog and snow but when it cleared a little on the 7th. he was able to count 17 brigs and schooners plus luggers, doggers and rowboats lying in Boulogne. Pier heads were being constructed at Ambleteuse and army camps being set up all along the coast.
  • On the night of Tuesday 3 January 1804 Capt. OWEN reinforced the ARCHER gunbrig with men from his own ship under Lieut. PAYNE, and pushed her inshore where she captured the French lugger gun-vessel No. 432, mounting an eighteen and a twelve pounder. She was commanded by an Ensign with five seamen and a lieutenant with 26 grenadiers of the 36th. regiment. ARCHER and GRIFFIN afterwards captured a dogger, a schuyt and two fishing boats all carrying soldiers.
    No 432 was critically examined by the captain of UTRECHT. He did not consider that she could hold more than 50 troops and the water she drew forward would make it difficult for them to disembark. The French 18-pounder in the bow was in good condition but the 12-pounder in the stern was old and honeycombed. The helm was the only means of aiming the guns. She was 60' 6" long with a beam of 14' 5" and a draught of 3'.
  • In April 1804 Capt. OWEN was ordered to conduct three ships filled with stone to the Downs to be sunk at the entrance to Boulogne. ILLUSTRIOUS, IMMORTALITE, SEINE, SQUIRREL and a number of smaller ships accomplished this on the 2nd. Two days later all the squadron off Boulogne had to take shelter from strong westerly gales with hail, snow and rain. Capt. OWEN poured as much cold water on the plan as he could, saying that the attempt would be worse than ridiculous.
  • On the evening of 20 July the strong wind forced the vessels in the Boulogne Roads, about 45 brigs and 53 luggers, to get under weigh and work to windward. HARPY, BLOODHOUND and ARCHER immediately closed with them and fired at those which attempted to stand off from the land. As soon as tide permitted IMMORTALITE and LEDA stood inshore where a brig, a lugger and several large boats were stranded. The enemy were salvaging what they could before they were destroyed by the sea. Three other brigs and a lugger were in pieces on the rocks.The French account omitted to mention the British presence and blamed it all on the weather. About 400 soldiers went down in the gunvessels that foundered and many were lost in those that were stranded. The whole affair was witnessed by Napoleon.
  • In August the squadron off Boulogne was commanded by Rear Ad. LOUIS.
    The main force was usually anchored some 10 miles N. W. of the port while the inshore division of five or six vessels, commanded by Capt. OWEN cruised just out of range of the enemy's mortar shells.
    On 25 August 1804 a division of the 146 armed vessels in Boulogne Roads got under weigh and worked up to Pointe Bombe where CRUIZER (18) lay at anchor. She engaged them and soon IMMORTALITE arrived on the scene and opened up her broadsides on the gunboats. She came under heavy fire from the batteries ashore but received little damage before the tide forced her to haul off where she hove-to about 3 miles out for the night.
    The following day a second division joined the first between Vimereux and Ambleteuse making more than 90 brigs and luggers, all keeping close inshore to be under the batteries. Napoleon himself was in the road in his barge.
    In the afternoon IMMORTALITE, HARPY, sloop, ADDER, gunbrig, and CONSTITUTION, cutter, attacked and stood in to within three-quarters of a mile of the batteries. CONSTITUTION was sunk by a shell but all her people were picked up safely. Another shell hit HARPY but did not explode. IMMORTALITE was hit twice by shot and had four men slightly wounded. A number of French vessels with shot holes in the hull had to run themselves ashore, while the rest returned to the roads.
  • On 23 October 1804 Capt. OWEN found 3 praams, 7 brigs and 15 luggers off Cap Griznez which bore up to the westward keeping close inshore under cover of the batteries and horse artillery which followed them along the beach. IMMORTALITE closed the praams under the high land of Cap Blanc Nez, with ORESTES and BASILISK joining in the attack, and the running fight lasted for more than an hour before the falling tide forced her seek deeper water. IMMORTALITE lost one man killed and a lieutenant and 10 men wounded, three mortally.
  • During gales towards the end of December, IMMORTALITE was left alone off Boulogne and, with the wind blowing off shore, between 20 and 30 of the enemy's large gunboats came out but they were afraid to attack her. She rescued the crew of a Swedish dogger which had gone ashore on the French coast and was nearly sinking.
    A division of 17 brigs, 3 schooners, 4 sloops, a dogger and 6 luggers arrived off Boulogne from the westward on the morning of 29 January 1805. IMMORTALITE got close enough to exchange shot but the wind and lee-tide enabled them to get in close to the beach. One was cut off by HARPY and Capt. OWEN sent her into the Downs with BRUIZER.
    At the beginning of March Capt. OWEN was called out of bed and IMMORTALITE quit her station at midnight. She sailed westward at daybreak with sealed orders after the other ships had been ordered to supply four month's provisions from their own stores. It was the opinion in Deal that the frigate had be sent to cruise in the track of homecoming Spanish galleons.
    Indeed on 17 March 1805 IMMORTALITE and MELPOMENE were to the west of Cape St. Vincent. The latter tacked after a large Danish ship, ISAAC, from Dartmouth which had been taken by a privateer, while Capt. OWEN stood to the westward on a course for a rendezvous when he had the good fortune to encounter the privateer and captured her after a chase. She was the Spanish brig INTREPEDE CORUNE, alias MARIA, from Corunna, with 14 guns and 66 men. Her captain's name was Petricio Fasto.
    IMMORTALITE returned to her station off Boulogne without capturing any Spanish galleons.
  • When BRUIZER brought Capt. OWEN news of a French flotilla moving westward along the coast on the morning of 18 July, he stationed his force of four brigs, WATCHFUL, PINCHER, SPARKLER and ARAB to windward. The enemy were sighted in the afternoon off Cap Blanc Nez, where the pursuing Calais squadron opened fire on them.
    Twenty-two large schooners under Dutch colours were about a half a mile ahead of three French praams and it was against the former that Capt. OWEN launched his attack. ARAB pushing right in shore where there was barely enough water to keep his ship afloat. They were joined by JACKALL and two other brigs from the Calais squadron.
    The junction of the Calais squadron meant that too many ships were trying to engage the enemy so Capt. OWEN called off HEBE, UTILE and DILIGENCE, allowing the brigs to get in closer. IMMORTALITE, with HEBE and UTILE went after the praams and brought them to fairly close action which continued until they were abreast of Ambleteuse. It was impossible to judge the enemy's losses but at least five of the schooners had grounded or run themselves ashore. IMMORTALITE had four men killed and twelve wounded. Her masts, rigging and sails were damaged, her hull struck in several places, and two carronades were disabled.
  • At the end of October 1805 the force off Boulogne consisted of IMMORTALITE, UTILE, BLOODHOUND, ACUTE and TICKLER.
    On the night of the 28th. Capt. OWEN sent Lieut. Charles Frederick PAYNE and James NUTHALL, boatswain's mate, in the four-oared gig to attempt to place one of Fulton's carcasses across the bow of of the extreme vessel of the enemy's line. Lieut. WARBURTON with the barge and BLOODHOUND were placed to either pick him up or give assistance. In the event, because BLOODHOUND could not tow him close enough, he had to place the charge on the second vessel of the rear line where he was discovered by a passing guard boat.
    Both lieutenants were certain that the brig had been destroyed but it could not be confirmed.
  • Following the death of Pitt in January 1806 a new government was formed which spoke only of peace and the hostilities against Boulogne were suspended while plenipotentiaries passed through the town. Capt. OWEN hoisted the broad pennant of a Commodore in the CLYDE frigate and IMMORTALITE went to the breakers in July.

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