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WATERWITCH (10) She was built in East Cowes as a yacht for the Earl of Belfast. Purchased in 1834.
Sold in 1861.

    In 1834 she won him a wager of 1,000 guns by beating the topsail schooner GALATEA in a race from the Nab around the Eddystone and back. She was purchased by the Admiralty for 4,006 pounds in the same year and armed with eight 18pdr carronades and two 6pdr long guns.
  • 1834 John ADAMS, 11/1834, under orders of Sir John HAY off north coast of Spain 1837.
    ditto, Coast of Africa.
  • 1837 Lieut. William DICKEY, 03/1837, coast of Africa. She was employed in the hunt for slavers and on 28 September 1837 she captured the slaver VIBERNA.
    On 10 December CHILDERS sighted the Havana slaver MARIA SECUNDA, a one gun schooner, at anchor off the St. Barbara river still carrying trade goods.
    Three days later, now carrying slaves, the schooner was pursued by WATERWITCH's three boats but only the gig under midshipman BOWLES with a crew of four managed to get alongside her.
    He held on for fifteen minutes and managed to kill eight slavers with a fowling piece before being forced to let go with one man killed and one wounded out of a crew of four. According to his coxswain Mr BOWLES "picked them off as if he had been shooting larks." The cutter and pinnace exchanged shots with the slaver but could not get alongside.
  • April 1838 Ordered home.
  • 1840 Lieut. Henry MATSON, 03/1839, coast of Africa.
    Between 22 and 31 May 1842 he liberated the slaves in the barracoons at Cubenda.
  • 1846 Thomas BIRCH, 09/1844, Coast of Africa.
    On 22 July 1847 WATERWITCH and RAPID captured the Brazilian brigantine ROMEO PRIMERO and a prize crew consisting of Lieut. MANSFIELD and 4 seamen were put on board to take her to St. Helena. Adverse winds caused him to change course to Sierra Leone and on 11 August the prisoners on board attempted to re-capture the vessel. They were repulsed but all the prize crew were badly wounded and two subsequently died.
  • 1848 Richard QUIN, 04/1848, Coast of Africa.
  • 1851 Alan Henry GARDNER, 06/1851.
    Off the coast of Africa with a squadron consisting of PHILOMEL, HARLEQUIN, VOLCANO and NIGER.
    In the autumn of 1851 there was trouble with a king of Lagos who was refusing to discourage slave traders. The master of WATERWITCH surveyed a passage over the bar and on 25 November a force of 250 officers, seamen and marines in the boats of the squadron entered the river to escort the British consul from Fernando Po in the steamer BLOODHOUND. Capt. GARDNER took the whaler and Lieut. William GRAHAM the pinnace. In spite of the flag of truce they came under fire from musketry and guns to which they eventually replied. A landing was made and houses fired but they had to retreat in face of the large force against them with 2 killed and a number wounded.
  • On 26 December WATERWITCH's boats took part in another attempt. Although casualties were heavy when various vessels had to be rescued under fire after grounding, the king was eventually driven into the forest and a new king installed in his place.
  • Paid off at Sheerness in 1855.

    Sold in 1861 for 760 pounds.

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© 1995, 2007 Michael Phillips