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LYRA (10) Built in 1808, Deptford (Cherokee class).
Broken up in 1818.

  • 1808 W. BEVIANS, Woolwich.
    LYRA was with Lord GAMBIER's squadron which carried out the great attack on the French fleet in the Basque Roads in April 1809.
    One of her boats commanded by Lieut. Thomas SMITH and employed in burning enemy ships on 12 April, was captured by two national luggers. Lieut. SMITH and her crew spent the remaining five years of the war as prisoners in France.
  • 1810 Robert BLOYE, 01/1810.
    LYRA formed part of Sir Home POPHAM's squadron which took part in operations at Lequito in June 1812.
    VENERABLE sailed from Corunna with RHIN and LYRA and on the 17th., while blowing hard from the N. W., they were joined by MEDUSA, HOTSPUR and ROVER.
    On the evening of the 18th. communication was established with the guerilla chief, Don Gaspar, and he promised to surround the town and fort of Lequito the following night. When the hills were seen covered in guerillas the following day seamen and marines were landed with a gun which breached the walls of the fort. The French soon surrendered. (See VENERABLE)
  • Capt. POPHAM despatched LYRA to report on the state of the Spanish batteries below the bar of the Bilbao river. When she returned on the 24th. with the news that the enemy was retiring she was ordered back to commence dismantling the batteries.
    On the 25th. the enemy were seen to be marching in to the destroyed batteries but retired again when the squadron made a disposition to stand up the inlet. They formed up on the plain and were seen to consist of 28 companies with about 60 cavalry. LYRA, ROVER and SPARROW closed with the fort at Puerto Galetta, silenced it and drove the enemy from it.
  • On 16 July operations commenced against Guetaria. A gun and a howitzer were landed to the westward and Capt. BOUVERIE, with ROVER, LYRA and GOLDFISH, was ordered to take the command to the eastward while VENERABLE and SURVEILLANTE remained under way to fire on the batteries. The Spanish guerillas retreated in good order as exhausted French reinforcements arrived from San Sebastian. Three midshipmen and 29 men were captured but Sir George COLLIER went on shore with a flag of truce to propose an exchange of prisoners with part of the garrison of Castro.
  • On 4 May 1813 LYRA, with ROYALIST and SPARROW, arrived off Castro which had been invested by the French since 25 April.
    On the 5th. and 6th. the enemy were seen making fascines in the woods and on the 7th. they threw up a battery to the westward of the town. SPARROW landed a 24-pounder on a small island (The 24-pounders had to be parbuckled up an almost inaccessible rock nearly 600 feet high) and, when the French opened fire from their two 12-pounders, SPARROW's gun and guns from Castro castle soon rendered one of their positions untenable.
    On the 10th. the enemy started throwing shells into Castro and SPARROW landed another 24-pounder but after the enemy breached the walls on the 11th. and rushed about 3,000 men into the town, the garrison retreated towards the boats from which they were distributed to the three brigs and ALPHEA.
    The rear guard held out until every gun had been thrown into the sea but the enemy entered before the train for blowing up the castle could be lit. Every soldier was brought off and many of the inhabitants. During the siege the garrison lost about 50 killed and the same number wounded out of 1200 men. They were faced by about 13,000 men that the French had collected from all over the province.
    The Spanish troops were landed at Bermeo on the morning of the 12th. and LYRA remained there to protect merchant vessels on the coast while ROYALIST and SPARROW took 140 French prisoners to Corunna.
  • Capt. TAYLOR of SPARROW hoisted the Spanish flag over Castro when he found the French evacuating the place on 23 June 1813 after slaughtering more than 3,000 of the inhabitants. Fourteen of those responsible were captured at Bilbao and put to death. By 25 June the whole coast from Guetaria to Santona had been evacuated by the enemy.)
  • LYRA had no casualties but ROYALIST and SPARROW had 10 wounded between 7 and 13 May.
  • When Capt. COLLIER was informed that the army before San Sebastian was short of artillery men he made up a small detachment of 60 officers and men to serve on shore. LYRA and SPARROW's men were in a 4-gun battery on a hill which enfiladed a battery on the east end of the rock.
  • Lord Wellington asked for a demonstration off San Sebastian on 1 September, so two divisions of ship's boats were placed under the command of Capt. BLOYE and Capt. GALWAY of DISPATCH and their appearance had the effect of diverting a large proportion of the garrison away from a breach. Although the boats were fired on by the French batteries, no lives were lost. Unfortunately the troops ordered to the assault found a vertical scarp of 20 feet up to the level of the breach and guns had to be fired against the curtain, the shot passing only a few feet above the heads of the men at the foot. The French were driven out of the town with the loss of 2,300 allied troops. The castle at San Sebastian finally fell on 8 September and Capt. BLOYE landed at Falmouth on 17 September with Capt. Sir George COLLIER's dispatches announcing the surrender.
    Ad. KEITH, at Plymouth, directed him to deliver it to the Admiralty in person.
  • 1814 Dowell O'REILLY, Plymouth Biscay.
    By 20 February 1814 Wellington, advancing from Spain, had reached the Adour some 10 miles north of Biaritz and a small squadron LYRA, MARTIAL and WOODLARK was stationed off the mouth of the river to assist him. In attempting to cross the bar O'REILLY's boat was wrecked and his crew were lucky to reach the shore. A pilot was landed to the S. W. of the river on the 24th. to make signals to guide vessels through the bar and rewards were offered for each vessel which crossed. Mr Henry BLOYE, master's mate of the LYRA and five seamen were drowned in making the attempt.
  • 1815 Ditto, Mediterranean.
  • 1816 Basil HALOL, Portsmouth, for China. She accompanied ALCESTE (46) which was carrying Lord AMHERST, on an abortive mission to China during which the ALCESTE was wrecked.

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