Taken off the Scillies by Capt. Robert BARLOW in PHOEBE on 22 December 1797.
Sold in 1816.
- Capt. Frederick WATKINS, 05/1799, Channel.
On 28 February 1800, while cruising off the Penmarks with REPULSE and AGAMEMNON, NEREIDE lost sight of her two companions during the night when they were far to windward. Capt. WATKINS kept company with a light for some hours assuming it to be on the Commodore's ship but in the morning it proved to be a Danish brig.
During the following night he encountered four large ships and a schooner and prepared for battle, but as soon as he came within gun shot of the largest in the morning they all dispersed. He continued to give chase but lost sight of them when night came on.
The following morning he was fortunate to find one of them still in sight and, after a hundred and twenty-three mile chase lasting twelve hours, when she was slowed by carrying away her jib -boom, he captured the VENGEANCE, a privateer from Bordeaux, with sixteen 12-pounders mounted and carrying 174 men. The privateer was about two years old and had been repeatedly chased by English frigates. She had sailed on the 26th. in company with BELLONA (24); FAVORITE (16); HURON (16), and the schooner TERRAILLEUSE (16), all privateers.
- On 3 March NEREIDE recaptured the American ship PERSEVERANCE,J. Norman, master, which had been taken by the French privateer MARS (22), while sailing from Baltimore to London with a cargo of tobacco, sugar and coffee valued at 30,000. They both arrived in Plymouth on the 7th.
NEREIDE sailed again on the 16th. to rejoin REPULSE and AGAMEMNON cruising off the Penmarks and returned on 3 April. She then sailed to escort back empty victuallers from Torbay and on 29 April orders were received for NEREIDE to victual for foreign service. She left for Cork on 7 May to escort the West India convoy to Martinique.
On her way out she gave chase to the French East Indiaman HURON (20) for 32 hours but she escaped after throwing 16 guns overboard.
HURON, with a cargo worth one and a half million sterling, was captured by MAGICIENNE, THAMES and DORIS off Bordeaux in January 1801.
- NEREIDE was to remain the West Indies until the end of 1802.
- While NEREIDE was lying off Curacao in September 1800 a large American ship ran alongside her, supposing her to be the French frigate VENGEANCE (56), (later taken by SEINE). She was boarded by NEREIDE's Master, Mr RAVEN. When barrels of flour she was carrying were examined it was found that they actually contained gunpowder. Two mortars and a battering train with shells and shot were also found.
When Capt. WATKINS learned that 1,500 Frenchmen had landed and occupied the west part of the island and that they were being opposed by the Dutch inhabitants. He offered his assistance to the latter and on 11 September NEREIDE ran into the harbour to prevent the French with the black 'General' Rigaud and the white General Jomet storming the principal fort commanding Amsterdam. He landed part of the cannon taken in the American and, joined by the settlers, forced the French to retire to Guadeloupe.
- On the 14th. the Governor, Johan Rudolph Lauffer, surrendered the island to the protection of the British crown and the French were finally expelled on the night of the 22nd. Thirty-seven vessels belonging to Holland, Denmark, America, France and Spain, were found in the harbour. There were also three English prizes which had been sold at that port. Thirteen sail, all richly laden were sent off to Jamaica. Rigaud was taken prisoner and his brother hanged as a spy by the Dutch. General Jomet was given parole.
MELEAGER and LEGERE arrived in October to secure the island.
Because the island could not subsist without free intercourse with the Spanish main Capt. WATKINS agreed that it should be allowed the same free trade as Jamaica.
- Capt. WATKINS returned to Plymouth at the beginning of February 1801. He was succeeded by Capt. R MENDS.
Note: Curacao was handed back under the terms of the Peace of Amiens and the whole business had to be gone through again 1807. (See ARETHUSA.)
- 1802 NEREIDE returned to Plymouth from Jamaica in company with HUNTER and when the sloop was disabled by a gale on 3 September 1802 NEREIDE took her dispatches but, due to a thick fog in the Channel, did not arrive in Plymouth until about twelve hours after HUNTER. On the 14 NEREIDE went up the harbour to be stripped, paid off and laid up in ordinary.
- In 1806, commanded by Capt. Robert CORBET, she came under the orders of Commodore STOPFORD in SPENCER who had left with a convoy on a secret expedition on 12 November. After rounding the Horn it was supposed to land troops under Col. Robin Crauford at Valparaiso but orders were changed and the ships, sheltering from storms, were ordered to join the troops concentrating to retake Buenos Ayres. NEREIDE was able to make two captures on the way south. The Spanish corvette VELOZ with ten guns mounted was captured on 20 November. She had been fitted out at Bilbao to carry dispatches, passengers and a cargo of flour to Caraccus. The other ten guns of her armament were due to be mounted abroad. A fine sailor, she kept station with NEREIDE after her capture.
- On 25 November, 120 miles west of Vigo NEREIDE took the Spanish privateer lugger BRILLIANTE, two days out of that port on a four month cruise. She was armed with four guns and carried fifty men. Although there were several vessels in sight she had made no captures.
- Col. CRAUFORD arrived off the coast in May 1807 with some 11,000 troops under his command.
On 15 June he was superseded by General WHITELOCKE "who had nothing of the general but his hat, and nothing of the soldier but his coat".
On 28 June the army landed at Barragon about 20 miles east of Buenos Ayres. Capts. CORBET and BAYNTUN superintended the landing.
On the 30th. NEREIDE, wearing the flag of Rear Ad. George MURRAY, weighed and anchored again to the westward of Quelmes and Ad. MURRAY went in shore in FLYING FISH to see if the army needed supplies.
Capt. CORBET in his boat discovered some of the troops and sent his Lieut. BLIGHT on shore. He reported from Gen. WHITELOCKE that the troops were in a bad way having been obliged to leave their provisions behind so bread and spirits were immediately landed.
- The assault on Buenos Ayres began on 5 July when British troops were ordered to enter the town with unloaded, and in some cases flintless, muskets. More that 70 officers and 1,000 other ranks were shot down and 1,500 were taken prisoner. Although WHITELOCKE still had plenty of troops and a strong fleet he promptly surrendered and marched his mutinous army back to the ships. Col. CRAUFORD was so enraged that he reportedly ordered his riflemen to "shoot the traitor dead". At this time NEREIDE was moored as high up as she could go in less than three fathoms but still nine miles from the town.
- The General was court-martialled and cashiered as totally unfit to command. If he had been an Admiral he would undoubtedly have been shot.
- NEREIDE's returned to the Cape of Good Hope station where, on 18 December 1808, she captured the Imperial corvette GOBE MOUCHE which was bound to Port Louis from the Seychelles with dispatches. Her commander, Enseigne de Vaisseau Sugor, threw them overboard but most were recovered by NEREIDE's boat's crew. Most of her twelve guns had been thrown overboard during the chase and only 30 of her crew of 80 men remained on board, the rest were manning prizes taken on a previous cruise off Mozambique.
- In the spring of 1809 NEREIDE was dismasted in a hurricane and had to refit in Simon's Bay. She sailed from there on 1 May for a cruise off Mauritius and Reunion which were being blockaded by a British squadron under Vice Ad. BERTIE.
- In August Capt. CORBETT, needing supplies, anchored off St. Rose on the eastern side of Reunion and opened fire on two batteries covering the anchorage. The SAPPHIRE sloop, Lieut. CATOR, then ran closer in shore and her broadsides soon silenced the enemy guns. A party of men from the frigate under the command of her first lieutenant, Mr Arthur BINGHAM, then landed and captured the French governor. The six guns in the batteries were spiked and then sunk in deep water. Lieut. BINGHAM was scorched and wounded when he was blown a considerable distance by the premature explosion of a magazine containing 100 barrels of gunpowder which he was attempting to destroy.
- When the French frigate CAROLINE succeeded in entering St. Paul's with two homeward bound, richly laden, East Indiamen, Capt. ROWLEY of RAISONABLE considered that the place might be carried. He therefore ordered BOADICEA to blockade the place and detached NEREIDE, OTTER and SAPPHIRE to embark detachments of the 56th. regiment and the 2nd native infantry regiment at Port Duncan Rodriguez and bring them down. The troops were reinforced by marines and 100 seamen from RAISONABLE and OTTER and the whole force, numbering 604, were embarked with 5 extra boats on board NEREIDE on 19 September. She anchored close to the beach and on the morning of the 23rd. the whole party landed without alarming the enemy. The batteries were quickly taken and the rest of the squadron stood into the bay and engaged the shipping. CAROLINE surrendered and Lieut.BINGHAM took possession of her and conveyed her commander's sword to Capt. CORBETT but command of the prize was given to Lieut. BLUETT of RAISONABLE. NEREIDE lost one able seaman killed and five marines wounded. NEREIDE sailed for the Cape with Capt. ROWLEY's dispatches.
- 1810 Capt. Nesbit J. WILLOUGHBY (act).
He arrived off Mauritius from the Cape of Good Hope towards the end of April 1810 to join a squadron under Capt. Henry LAMBERT. He was immediately sent to cruise off the south of the island where he opened fire on a large ship anchored between two forts at the mouth of the Noire. She was the 44-gun French frigate ASTREE.
At midnight on 30 April the boats of NEREIDE, commanded by the Captain and with fifty seamen and the same number of marines, left the ship to cut out a merchant ship lying within pistol shot of two batteries in the anchorage at Jacotel. As they landed through the surf the warning was given by the French national schooner ESTAFETTE and both batteries immediately opened fire. The landing party soon captured one of the batteries mounting two 12-pounders but meanwhile the soldiers from the second battery had attacked the men guarding the boats who escaped into the harbour and boarded the French schooner. The seamen and marines charged and scattered the seventy French soldiers and a party of militia in all directions and seized their guns. Capt. WILLOUGHBY then destroyed a signal station before embarking and returned to NEREIDE with the schooner. One marine was killed and Lieut. DEACON, four seamen and two marines wounded.
- NEREIDE, IPHIGENIA and the gun-brig STAUNCH joined Capt. PYM in SIRIUS off Mauritius at the beginning of August and, on the 10th., their boats under the command of Capt. WILLOUGHBY with about 400 men attempted a landing on Passage Is. at the entrance of Bourbon (Great Port) harbour. The attempt was aborted when the sea proved too rough.
A successful landing was made on the 13th. while NEREIDE was on the west side of Mauritius and when Capt. WILLOUGHBY arrived the following day, Capt. PYM passed over control of Passage Is.
to him. Using the island as a base he attacked and destroyed the signal station on Devil's Point on the 18th. Further landings were made on the next two days and on the 20th., while he was some five miles from his ship, the Captain saw five large sail standing in for the passage to Bourbon. He immediately set off in his gig for the two hour row back and using a captured French signal book enticed the ships into the harbour. They were LA BELLONE and LA MINERVE frigates, LE VICTOR sloop and two prizes, WINDHAM and CEYLON.
NEREIDE exchanged broadsides with the French ships as they came in and Capt. WILLOUGHBY sent Lieut. DEACON in the launch to warn SIRIUS. She was off Port Louis where one of her midshipmen and four unarmed seamen had captured the WINDHAM when she had separated from the other French ships.
SIRIUS joined NEREIDE on the 22nd and was told that the enemy was of inferior force. Capt. PYM took NEREIDE's master, Mr Robert LESBY, on board and bore up for the passage into the harbour followed by Capt. WILLOUGHBY. When SIRIUS grounded on a sand bank NEREIDE anchored close to and with much effort SIRIUS was got off. The following morning IPHEGENIA and MAGICIENNE joined and the four frigates proceeded down the channel led by NEREIDE. SIRIUS grounded again followed by MAGICIENNE but NEREIDE pushed on, anchored 200 yards away from BELLONE and VICTOR and exchanged fire. CEYLON struck but fouled BELLONA which ran ashore but was still able to present her broadside to NEREIDE.
MINERVE grounded close to her. Capt. WILLOUGHBY lost his left eye to a splinter early in the action and the first lieutenant was mortally wounded. When most of the officers and crew were either killed or wounded, many of the guns were dismounted and the hull was badly damaged, Capt. WILLOUGHBY ordered the survivors to take shelter below and he surrendered the ship. LA BELLONE continued to fire on her for some time and again the following morning although French colours were displayed. A small Union flag on the mizzen to-gallant mast head could not be lowered. Out of 281 officers and men on board NEREIDE, 230 were killed or wounded. MAGICIENNE was blown up to avoid capture, SIRIUS and IPHEGENIA were surrendered when three more French frigates arrived.
- NEREIDE was retaken by Vice Ad. BERTIE's squadron at capture of Mauritius on 6 December 1810 and not re-commissioned.