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WASP (14) The French privateer LA GUEPE, taken in Vigo Bay and purchased in 1801.
Sold in 1811.

  • 1801 Capt. BULLEN, Portsmouth. Cruising in Channel.
  • 1803 Frederick William AYLMER, Portsmouth. (From DELIGHT) WASP and SEAHORSE were escorting a Mediterranean convoy on the 19 July 1803 when WASP was sent in chase of a French privateer that was keeping on the skirts of the convoy. After two hours she captured the lugger DESESPOIR mounting two guns although pierced for ten. Commanded by Jean Delaballe with 28 men, she had left Hodierne three days earlier. In May 1805 Cdr. AYLMER was posted into GLORY.
  • 1805 Lieut. Joseph PACKWOOD, acting commander in the spring of 1805. John SIMPSON was appointed to her in the summer while she was fitting out at Plymouth. She was intended to be placed under the orders of NELSON but instead joined Ad. CORNWALLIS in the Channel fleet.
  • On 28 and 19 August WASP was chased by the Rochefort squadron consisting of five two-deckers, two frigates and two brigs.
  • On the first day an 80-gun ship fired a broadside at her and on the second Wasp was engaged for 40 minutes within range of grape by a frigate on one quarter and a brig on the other. Capt. SIMPSON had thrown all but six guns overboard to improve WASP's sailing qualities, but used those to such effect that the enemy at last gave up and allow her to escape.
  • Capt. SIMPSON removed to STAR in October 1805.
  • Later in 1805 Buckland Stirling BLUETT, Leeward Is. (BLUETT had been promoted for his part in the cutting out of ALALANTE by the boats of SCORPION and BEAVER in March 1804) On 24 May 1806 he captured the French privateer cutter NAPOLEON which, carrying 73 soldiers and seamen, was on her way with a French national schooner to cut out some British merchantmen after sailing from Basse Terre the previous day. NAPOLEON was formally HM armed cutter DOMINICA which had been taken into Guadeloupe by her disaffected crew. The schooner, of 3 guns and 65 men, was captured later the same day by CYGNET and the packet DUKE OF MONTROSE.
  • On 12 December 1805 ARETHUSA, BOADICEA and WASP sailed for the West Indies with a convoy of 23 ships. About 200 miles N. W. of Finisterre they fell in with a French squadron of five sail of the line and three frigates out of Rochefort. A further nine sail were just visible to leeward, but these proved to be prizes they had taken from LARK's African convoy. Early on the 16th. ARETHUSA's Capt. BRISBANE gave the order for the convoy to scatter and 17 stood on to the S. W. The three warships and the remaining merchantmen tacked and stood to the N. W. with the whole French squadron after them. The chase continued until nightfall when the French gave up and Capt. BRISBANE ordered WASP to Rochefort, Ferrol, Cadiz and Gibraltar to warn the commanders on those stations. All the ships survived. Capt. BRISBANE ordered BOADICEA to shadow the French squadron and, on the 23rd., ARETHUSA fell in with Sir John DUCKWORTH and his squadron of six sail of the line and two frigates near Madeira but they had already been to Teneriffe and heard of the attack on LARK's convoy. Two days later Ad. DUCKWORTH encountered six French sail of the line and a frigate but lost them in thick weather after a chase of two days. When ARETHUSA arrived at Carlisle Bay, Barbados, on the 13 January he found Ad DUCKWORTH already there. When WASP entered Prince Rupert's Bay in Dominica on the morning of the 24 May 1806 she received a signal from CYGNET at the anchorage that there was an enemy in the offing to the south-west. Capt. BLUETT went in chase of them and at 2 o'clock he captured the cutter NAPOLEON, which turned out to be His Majesty's sloop DOMINICA, which had been taken into Guadeloupe by her crew a few days previously. She had been immediately commissioned as a privateer and sent out under Vincent Gautier to raid merchant ships in Roseau Bay. Among the 73 crew were four soldiers from the 4th. regiment of artillery and twelve from the 26th. regiment. Also on board, out of uniform, was the French General Hortade. It is impossible to guess what an officer of his rank was doing engaging in such an enterprise. Two Frenchmen were killed. The cutter's consort, the French national schooner IMPERIAL, was captured by the packet DUKE OF MONTROSE which took on some men from the 46th. regiment and came out of Roseau to join in the chase. The schooner mounted one long 9-pounders and two 2-pounders with 65 men carrying small arms. She had left the Saintes the evening before.
  • 1808 Deptford.

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