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ORPHEUS (32) Built in 1780, Deptford.
Wrecked in 1807.

  • Early in 1799 Robert EVANS, first lieutenant of SUFFOLK, was appointed acting captain of ORPHEUS and ordered to take her from Madras to Bombay.

    The weather was very stormy and, as the ship was leaking and in a very bad state of repair, the pumps had to be kept in continual use for seven weeks.
  • As they approached Bombay the ship was hit by a water-spout which burst over the forecastle filling the forepart with water and knocking down all those on deck.
    Capt. EVANS had ordered a gun to be fired at the approaching column but the wind suction prevented the gunner's mate from obeying the order.
    ORPHEUS ran into the harbour for shelter from the gales but Capt. EVANS found that she could not be docked until the next spring tides unless she she could be lightened within the next 48 hours so, to save themselves the labour of constant pumping for another fortnight, his exhausted crew worked watch and watch through the night and all hands the following day to load the stores and guns into lighters.
  • When she docked there was general surprise that she had kept afloat for so long.
    Every part seemed to be quite rotten; the first and second futtocks could have been dug out with shovels.
    ORPHEUS was rebuilt with teak, re-rigged and Capt. EVANS made her ready again for sea but he was superseded by Capt. HILLS who came out from England.
  • 1799 Capt William HILLS, East Indies.
    While sailing across the Molucca Passage from the island of Ternate to the Straits of Banka on 24 October 1799, Capt. HILLS gave chase to two vessels.
    When the wind dropped the boats were hoisted out and it was nearly four hours before they could be brought to action.
    After a quarter of an hour they both struck and proved to be the ZEEVRAGHT, brig, and the ZEELAST, panchallang, each mounting 22 guns of different calibre, and belonging to the Dutch East India Company.
    ORPHEUS lost one seaman killed in the main top and five wounded, including the first lieutenant, Mr HODGKINS, who received a musket ball through the right arm.
    The enemy had 75 men on board and lost 7 killed and 7 wounded.
  • On 5 May 1800 ORPHEUS and ARROGANT arrived in Mew Bay to water and two days later they captured a small ship from the Ile de France which they burnt.
    After passing to the north of the islands they made the Isle of Java near Point Indramago on the 16th. and discovered a large ship and a brig at anchor.
    The two enemy vessels moved inshore and they exchanged shots until it got dark when boats were sent to prevent the Dutch destroying their ships and escaping ashore.
    The following morning they surrendered and found to be the HERTZOY DE BRUNSWICK (28), and the DOLPHIN (24) belonging to the Dutch East India Co.
  • ORPHEUS captured a Dutch brig, a sloop and two proas before rejoining ARROGANT off Cheribon on the 28th.
  • 1801 Capt. ELPHINSTONE, East Indies.
  • 1803 She returned to Portsmouth on 21 March from St. Helena in company with VICTORIOUS and SYBILLE. She went into harbour on the 23rd. and was paid off on 13 April. She was re-commissioned by Capt. HILL and sailed for Guernsey on 22 June.
    On 15 August she left Portsmouth with a convoy for Newfoundland and Quebec.
    The escort was augmented by the GREYHOUND cutter for the first 1,000 miles into the Atlantic, she left the convoy on the 26th.
    ORPHEUS returned with the home-bound convoy on 11 December and on the 22th. escorted the CERES transport to Cork. She returned on 9 January 1804.
    On 24 January she sailed to spend a week cruising off Cherbourg before leaving for Lisbon on 14 February.
  • At the beginning of August ORPHEUS escorted a convoy of 11 sail for Halifax down Channel but on the 8th. they had to put into Plymouth Sound having been taking aback by a south west wind which was blowing up into a gale.
  • 1805 Capt. C. W. BOYS (act), to Oporto.
    Capt. Henry HILL, from CAMILLA, 24, protection of trade between England and Portugal.
    In April 1805 he worked ORPHEUS out of the Tagus during a gale, to the astonishment of experienced pilots, with the intelligence that the French and Spanish fleets had met at Cadiz.
  • 1806 Capt. Thomas BRIGGS, Leeward Is.
    On 25 September he captured the French privateer schooner GUADALOUPE which had sailed from the island of the same name four days before.
    Two of her three 6-pounders were thrown overboard during the chase.
    The Spanish schooner SUSANNA armed with two 8 and two 6-pounders was captured in the Gulf of Mexico on 12 November.
  • During the night of 20 November the Spanish national schooner DOLORES was sent out to attack ORPHEUS's boats in Campeachy Bay but the tables were turned when Lieut. George VINE in the barge boarded and carried her. She was armed with one long 9-pounder and two 4-pounders with a complement of 34 men.
  • ORPHEUS was wrecked on a coral reef in West Indies on 23 January 1807.

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