Taken on 7 September 1807 at the surrender of Copenhagen.
In the British service she was armed with eighteen 32-pounder carronades and two long 9-pounders and had a complement of 121 officers, men and boys.
- 1808 John CRISPO, coast of Africa.
He was promoted to post captain on 21 October 1810 the fifth anniversary of Trafalgar and was succeeded by Arthur Batt BINGHAM, 12/1810.
- On 19 April 1811 Rear-Ad. SAWYER at Bermuda issued instructions to Capt, BINGHAM to seek out Capt. PECHELL in GUERRIERE somewhere along the Atlantic seaboard between Charlestown and New York.
If he did not find him he was to cruise for as long as his supplies lasted and then repair to Halifax.
He was to protect British trade and seek out enemy ships and he was asked to be particularly careful not to give any offence to the United States since relations between Great Britain and that country were particularly strained.
- Capt. BINGHAM did not find GUERRIERE, and on his return from the northward he was about 48 miles east of Cape Charles at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay on the morning of 10 May when he saw a strange sail.
He made the signal 275 (calling on a strange ship, if a British warship, to show her number) and when it was not answered he concluded that the other must be a United States frigate.
He therefore hoisted colours and made sail to the southward to round Cape Hatteras.
The frigate closed in the evening and tried to place herself in a position to rake which BINGHAM frustrated three times by wearing.
- Capt. BINGHAM hailed twice to ask what ship it was and each time his question was repeated back.
The frigate then fired a broadside to which BINGHAM replied and a general action began which lasted for three-quarters of an hour until the frigate, apparently with a fire on board, withdrew.
The frigate closed again and asked if he had struck and, when BINGHAM answered that he had not, stood off and sailed away.
- The following morning a second ship came up with a message from Commodore RODGERS of the USF PRESIDENT saying that he lamented the 'unfortunate affair' and that he would not have fired if LITTLE BELT had not fired first.
This was indignantly denied by Capt. BINGHAM.
- LITTLE BELT had suffered severe casualties.
Nine were killed outright and twenty-three wounded, most of them dangerously so and many mortally.
Mr M'QUEEN the master was wounded in the right arm in the middle of the action.
Her masts, sails, rigging and upper works were badly damaged and there were many shot holes in her sides.
- (Those killed were: Mr Samuel WOODWARD, midshipman; Christ BENNETT, captain of the foretop; Jacob GREAVES, carpenter's crew; Thomas SHIPPARD, gunner's mate: George WILSON, AB; James GREY, OS; Robert HOWARD, OS; John PARDOE, private marine.
Daniel KILHAM, landman, and Richard COODY, OS, died during the day after the action from their wounds.
The wounded included Mr James FRANKLIN, boatswain; MR Benjamin ANGEL, carpenter and Mr James M'QUEEN, acting master.)
- She slowly made her way to Halifax.
A gale came up on the second day during which the first lieutenant, Mr John MOBERLY, stopped the leaks himself and secured the masts.
Capt. BINGHAM also commended the conduct of Lieut. LOVELL and master's mate Mr WISON.
LITTLE BELT was paid off shortly after and sold at Deptford.
- Commodore Rodgers, in his official report claimed that the British sloop had the appearance of a frigate although she was a flush decked vessel.
The American papers repeated his allegation that the British had fired first but by the autumn their government admitted responsibility and the British government agreed to reparations.
The Admiralty had refused to try Capt. BINGHAM by court-martial but expressed their full confidence in him and promoted him to post rank on 7 February 1812.