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VIPER (12) Cutter Purchased in 1797. Armed with twelve 4 pounders.
Sold in 1809.

  • 1799 Lieut. PENGELLY, Channel.
    At a quarter past ten on the morning of the 26 December 1799, some 20 miles south of the Dodman, Lieut. PENGELLY sighted a vessel to windward.
    He stood towards her and, just after noon, brought her to action. She sheared off but, after a running fight lasting and hour and a half, he managed to run along side and poured two broadsides into her. The enemy struck with four men killed and eight wounded. She was the privateer FURET, armed with fourteen 4-pounders and commanded by Louis Bouvet, two days out of St. Malo on her first cruise. Fifty-seven men were on board, seven having been sent off in a prize. VIPER's mainmast was badly damaged and her sails and rigging cut up, Lieut. PENGELLY and one man were wounded. He carried his prize into Falmouth.
    On the 5 January 1800 he brought the privateer FERRET of fourteen 4-pounders and 43 men in to Plymouth. She was only taken after a long fight.
    In February Lieut. PENGELLY was promoted to commander and appointed to the PEGASUS (28), fitting out as a trooper.
    The large ship, JULIANA, Capt. Hanson, was sent out of Plymouth on 24 March on the orders of the privy council without breaking her cargo of cotton wool because infection was suspected on board. She had sailed from Mogadore and VIPER was ordered to see her to her destined port of Altona but to have no communication with her on passage.
    Later in the year she was with Sir Edward PELLEW's squadron watching St. Louis and Sir Edward appointed Jeremiah COGHLAN an acting lieutenant to command her as a reward for his gallantry in numerous boat actions while serving in IMPETUEUX (78).
    His appointment was sanctioned by Earl ST. VINCENT who recommended it to the Admiralty.
  • On the night of Tuesday 29 July 1800 Lieut. COGHLAN used a 10-oar cutter manned by 12 volunteers from the squadron as well as midshipman Silas Hiscutt PADDON and six seamen from VIPER, to cut out a French brig, CERBERE, mounting three long 24-pounders and four 6-pounders. There were 87 enemy on board including 16 soldiers, all at quarters.
    The brig was moored under three batteries and within a mile of a French 74 and two frigates. It took three attempts before they succeeded in carrying the brig at the cost of one man killed and eight wounded, including COGHLAN who was wounded in two places, including a pike thrust through the leg, and PADDON, who was wounded in six. They killed six of the enemy and wounded twenty, including all the officers. A boat from AMETHYST and another from VIPER took the prize in tow and brought her out under fire from the batteries.
    To mark their appreciation of the bravery displayed by all taking part the rest of the squadron gave up any claim to the prize. St. VINCENT, in expressing his admiration, hoped that the Admiralty would grant COGHLAN promotion as soon as he had completed his time. The Admiral presented him with a sword worth 100 guineas and, with Sir E. PELLEW's squadron, gave up their shares of the prize money. Naval medals were awarded for the action.
    On his arrival in port Mr COGHLAN was commissioned as a lieutenant and confirmed in his command.
  • In the autumn of 1800 VIPER recaptured, and took into Falmouth, the DIAMOND transport which was carrying the Duke of Kent's baggage and horses from Halifax. The Duke declined Lieut. COGHLAN's offer to forgo salvage since he did not want to deprive the men of their just rewards.
  • On 23 January 1801 VIPER sailed for the Straits and, on 3 February she sent a prize into Plymouth, a French schooner from Cayenne to Bordeaux with cocoa and indigo. Another prize was sent in on the 21st., a French brig with wine.
    On 1 April ATALANTE and VIPER fell in with four French privateers off Land's End. Three of them hauled off but, after a chase of 17 hours the HEROS brig of St. Malo was captured. Armed with 14 guns and carrying 73 men her master was Renne Crosse.
    VIPER returned from Sir Edward PELLEW's squadron off Rochefort on 12 July. Back off Rochefort Lieut. COGHLAN forced the 16-gun corvette TAPAGEUR to run into port after an initial exchange of fire.
    On 10 September Sir Edward PELLEW ordered VIPER to intercept a convoy from Pertuis Breton to Sable d'Ollone. Lieut. COGHLAN cut off a sloop and drove a brig ashore but when his boat went to take possession a large gun-brig, two schooners and two luggers came out to cut her off. He turned towards them and drove the gun-brig ashore in the surf and forced the others back to port. The wind and tide allowed the enemy to get the brig off without interference from VIPER. VIPER received some 24-pound shot in her hull and had one man killed and one wounded.
  • VIPER was paid off at Plymouth on the 28 October 1801 following the Peace of Amiens and Lieut. COGHLAN was unemployed until appointed to NIMBLE in 1802.
  • 1803 Lieut. JUMP, Plymouth.
    Convoy escort.
  • 1805-7 Lieut. CARPENTER, Channel.

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