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JAVA (38) The French RENOMMEE taken by ASTREA, PHOEBE, GALATEA and RACEHORSE, a squadron commanded by Capt. Charles SCHOMBERG, on 20 May 1811 off Madagascar. She was armed with twenty-eight long 18-pounders on the main deck and sixteen 32-pounder carronades and two long 9-pounders on the quarter-deck and forecastle. A total of 40 guns plus a boat's carronade. She could fire a broadside of 517 pounds.
Taken in 1812.

  • 1812 Capt. Henry LAMBERT, 08/1812.
    JAVA was fitting out at Portsmouth that August to take the newly appointed C-in-C, Lieut. Gen. Thomas Hislop, and his staff to Bombay. She was also to carry a large quantity of naval stores, including copper sheeting, for a 74-gun ship and two brigs building there. Her officers were: Mr Henry Ducie CHADS, the first lieutenant, who had served with Capt. LAMBERT as 1st. of the IPHEGENIA; Lieuts William Allan HERRINGHAM and George BUCHANAN; Mr Batty ROBINSON, master; Mr James HUMBLE, Boatswain; Mr Thomas Cooke JONES, surgeon; Mr Matthew CAPPONI, assistant surgeon.
    After receiving on board 86 supernumeraries, the majority being marine-society boys, JAVA sailed from Spithead on 12 November with two Hon. East India Co. Hon. East India Co.
    ships under convoy.
  • About a month later Capt. LAMBERT captured and manned an American ship, reducing his complement to 272 officers, men and boys. Of these 23 were boys, 18 were raw marine recruits and 60 were Irishmen who had never seen salt water. Barely 50 of the remaining 170 had served in another ship.
  • By 24 December JAVA was running short of water so Capt. LAMBERT resolved to obtain a supply at Salvador in Brazil and parted company with the East Indiamen the same day.
    On the 29th., when in sight of the Brazilian coast, he gave chase to the large American frigate CONSTITUTION (55) with a complement of 480, mostly experienced seamen and many of them British. She was first sighted at 8 AM and Capt. LAMBERT made the private signal. It was not answered so he cast off the prize they were towing and prepared for action.
    At just after 2 in the afternoon the frigate, having hoisted American colours, opened fire at a range of about half a mile. After an exchange of fire for nearly an hour JAVA's rigging was cut to pieces and both fore and main-masts were badly wounded, so Capt. LAMBERT decided on boarding as the only hope. This hope was frustrated when the fore-mast fell, and the remains of the bowsprit, catching on the enemy's mizzen rigging, brought JAVA up into the wind.
    This allowed the CONSTITUTION to rake her at will until first the main top mast went and then the mizzen. Meanwhile at half past three the captain had been mortally wounded and the command devolved on the first lieutenant.
    CONSTITUTION lay on the starboard quarter pouring in a tremendous fire, to which JAVA could only reply with two or three guns, until at last the American pulled out of range for repairs. This left JAVA a floating wreck, frequently on fire and soon the main-mast had to be cut away to stop it falling inboard.
    Lieut. CHADS mustered at quarters and found 110 men missing; six quarter-deck guns, four on the forecastle and many of the main-deckers were disabled. He consulted with Lieuts. HERRINGHAM and BUCHANAN and they agreed that it would only be wasting lives to resist any longer so, as soon as CONSTITUTION brought her broadside to bear again, he struck his colours.
    When all the wounded and the prisoners had been taken off, the American Commodore Bainbridge ordered her to be burnt.
    JAVA lost 31 killed including Messrs. Charles JONES, Thomas HAMMOND and William GASCOIGNE, master's mates, and William SALMOND, midshipman. Of the 103 wounded, three, Capt. LAMBERT, Edward KEELE, midshipman, and one sailor received mortal wounds. The boatswain and four men were dangerously wounded.
    The Americans admitted to ten killed and Lieut. CHADS, relying on evidence from Mr CAPPONI, quoted 48 wounded, including four mortally.
    JAVA's officers and men were landed at Salvador in Brazil on 2 January 1813 and numbered 38 officers and 323 petty officers, seamen, marines and boys. The officers had been well treated but the crew had been pillaged of almost everything they had and were kept in irons.
    Capt. LAMBERT, whose lungs had been badly lacerated by bone splinters when a musket ball entered his chest, lived to be landed in Brazil, but died on the 5 January.
    He was buried the same day in Fort St. Pedro with military honours in the presence of the Governor, Conde Don Arcas.
    While Lieut. Henry CHADS and the surviving officers and crew were returning to England in two cartels they were boarded by the French frigate ARETHUSE (see AMELIA) after she had chased them for three days. He had an opportunity to see the damage inflicted by AMELIA off West Africa on 7 February. ARETHUSE's lower masts, fore and main-yards, gaff, spanker-boom and mizzen-top-mast were all fished, that is they had other spars lashed to them as a splint. There were more than 30 round shot in her hull and a drawing in the cabin listed 31 killed and 74 wounded.
    At the court martial on 23 April the surviving officers and men were most honourably acquitted. The naval officers received no recompense for the loss of all their personal property, unlike the army officers on board who were fully reimbursed.
  • On 28 May Lieut. CHADS was promoted into COLUMBIA.

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