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ORESTES (18) Built in 1824, Portsmouth.
Hulk in 1852.

  • Designed by Prof.

  • 1825 H. LITCHFIELD, 06/1824, Halifax.
  • 1826 William JONES, 05/1826, Halifax.
  • 1828 John REYNOLDS, 02/1828, Cork.
    On 13 September 1828 she sailed with TERROR and BRITOMART to blockade Tangier until two merchant vessels which had been captured by Barbary cruisers had been returned.
  • Commander William Nugent GLASCOCK was appointed captain of ORESTES on 12 August 1830 and he joined her on that day in Lough Swilly.
  • ORESTES was first employed in cruising on the coast of Galway were she encountered a terrific storm on 19 November 1830.
    Many vessels were stranded including four which Commander GLASCOCK salvaged from the rocks.
    Taking advantage of a spring tide on 27 December four parties were employed in excavating rocks, cutting channels, laying out anchors and buoying the bottom of each vessel with casks.
    The most powerful purchases available in the sloop were attached to the fore-foot of each vessel and after five days and three nights of incessant labour two Barmouth brigs and a Grangemouth schooner were saved from destruction.
    By the 25 January a sloop belonging to Dunbarton had been got off and safely secured at Galway.
  • In May 1831 ORESTES was sent to the Tyne to restore order following riotous behaviour by dissatisfied seamen.
    GLASCOCK spent four months unenviable service in Newcastle.
  • The outbreak of civil war in Portugal resulted in a Royal Navy squadron being sent there to protect British interests.
    ORESTES and CHILDERS, Robert DEANS, who was senior officer, entered the river Douro on 23 September 1832 and immediately found themselves exposed to the crossfire of both belligerents.
    Five days later the captain's steward of the CHILDERS was mortally wounded when some Oporto watermen sought refuge under the lee of the sloops and the merchant bark Britomart and drew musket fire from a band of armed guerillas that were pursuing them.
    On 11 October three musket balls were fired at ORESTES by men dressed as soldiers.
  • On 5 November CHILDERS sailed leaving ORESTES as senior ship in the squadron which now consisted of NAUTILUS and LEVERET, brigs, AETNA, survey vessel and ECHO, steamer.
    The warships and British merchantmen were not in an enviable position.
    In a letter to Rear-Admiral PARKER on 10 November GLASCOCK wrote "At this moment, when I write, shell and shot are passing in all directions between and over the masts of HM
    ships." No damage was caused on that occasion but on the 12th. a shell exploded under the bow of LEVERET.
    Two days later musket fire compelled the crew of ORESTES to remain below decks; the only damage was to the rigging.
  • On 23 November two British brigs carrying horses for the constitutional army forced the blockade of the river and came under fire.
    They attempted to take shelter alongside the British warships, a move not approved by GLASCOCK who insisted they should be warped ahead of the squadron.
    The shore batteries continued to shoot, directing their fire between the masts of ORESTES and AETNA.
  • A week later the British squadron moved further up river and moored under the walls of the convent of St. ANTONIO.
    Scarcely had the ORESTES taken up her anchorage before a heavy fire of musketry was opened on her decks and boats.
    To quote GLASCOCK: " Their Lordships will appreciate the great forbearance manifested by British seamen when they are informed that the fusillade proceeded from a fraternity of friars." Luckily no lives were lost.
  • GLASCOCK's task was not made any easier by the attitude of the masters of British merchant ships in Oporto.
    Although the consul recommended that they should depart they persisted in the opinion that his Majesty's Government would "see the British flag righted."
  • Early in the morning of 17 December a large number of Pedroite soldiers crossed the river near the British squadron.
    Their objective was a large store of wine upon which Don Pedro hoped to raise a foreign loan.
    Anticipating a reaction, GLASCOCK ordered the half-ports on ORESTES to be shipped, the hammocks stowed high along the bulwarks, gratings and dead-lights placed over hatchways and the crew kept below.
    Forty minutes later a heavy fire of musketry forced the Pedroites to retreat in great disorder, their boats seeking shelter among the British squadron which suffered considerable damage in consequence.
    HMS ORESTES 17 Dec.1832
  • "Sir, I have to request you will be so good as to take the earliest opportunity to communicate with Don Pedro's Minister for Foreign Affairs which has excited in me, as well as generally throughout the British squadron, the utmost indignation.
    I have no time to expiate upon the system of invariably making all attacks under the shelter of British ships, and bringing upon them a galling cross fire.
    One of the seamen of HM sloop ORESTES I fear has been mortally wounded, and the ship, in her masts, yards, rigging and bulwarks, has suffered considerably.
    Most of the fire proceeded from Don Pedro's side, bits of shell, grape and canister-shot were picked up on the decks of ORESTES.
    But Sir, The immediate subject of this communication is to request that the vile fabrication, now circulated so currently in the town, of the British ships of war having fired upon Don Pedro's troops when retreating in their boats, may be distinctly and indignantly denied.
    .I have the honour to be etc."
  • To His Exc.the British Consul, Oporto, (signed) W. N.GLASCOCK
  • On 10 January 1833 a boat from ORESTES, with her ensign flying, was fired into by Miguelite troops and a seaman named John CONNOR wounded.
    It is a singular fact that of the five men wounded in the British squadron, three were named Connor.
  • For the next few months the same pattern was repeated; both sides made or repulsed attacks with ORESTES and the rest of the British squadron coming under fire in the middle.
  • On 3 June the First Lord wrote to GLASCOCK:
  • "Sir, It has afforded me sincere pleasure to mark my high sense of your meritorious conduct and claims, by this day promoting you to the rank of captain the Royal Navy.
    You will not, however, at present be relieved in the command of the ORESTES, as we are desirous of the benefit of your services, in your present important station, a little longer.
    I have the honour to be, &c." (signed) J. R.G. GRAHAM
    On 16 August Don Miguel's General at last put into execution a threat to destroy all the wine stored at Villa Nova de Gaia where the warehouses, or 'lodges', of the Portuguese Old Wine Company were intermingled with those of British merchants including such names as Cockburn, Croft, Sandeman and Gonzalez Byass.
    Captain GLASCOCK, considering that an official protest from the consul would be of little avail in rescuing British property from explosion and fire, landed a force of 130 seamen each armed with a cutlass and a bucket and 20 marines armed with muskets to act as sentries.
    They managed to save upwards of 150,000 worth of wine and brandy from destruction in spite of being fired upon by both sides.
  • The landing and re-embarkation of the seamen and the fire-fighting were directed by Lieutenants CORBET and MONTGOMERY of ORESTES and DICKSON of NAUTILUS who "personally exposed themselves to imminent danger."
  • The following day General Saldanha made a sortie from Oporto and succeeded in breaking through his opponent's line.
    Within twenty-four hours the Miguelites had withdrawn from the southern bank, Villa Nova was in the hands of the constitutionalists and the Douro was again accessible for safe navigation.
    On 18 September 1833 ORESTES departed from Portugal after nearly twelve months arduous service.
  • The officers of ORESTES during the siege of Oporto were: Lieutenants Kynaston CORBET, Alexander Leslie MONTGOMERY; Acting Master Jonas CROAKER; Surgeon John MONTEITH and Purser Thomas GILES.
    By the end of the siege the Pedroite forces in Oporto numbered about 17,800 and the besieging Miguelites, about 24,000.
  • 1834 Sir William DICKSON, 09/1833, Lisbon.
  • 1836 H. J. CODRINGTON, 06/1834, Mediterranean.
  • 1837 J. J. NEWELL, 01/1836, Mediterranean.
  • 1838 William HOLT, 01/1838, Mediterranean.
    At the end of March she lost her rudder in a bad storm that caused much damage in the western Mediterranean.
    Ordered home.
  • 1840 Peter HAMBLY, 08/3

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