HMS Arrow (1796)
|Builder:||HOOBS at Redbridge|
|Captured:||4 Feb 1805|
|Fate:||captured and sunk|
|Tons burthen:||386 tons BM|
|Depth of hold:||7'11"|
|Armament:||28 × 32 pounder carronade|
The Arrow and her sister ship Dart were "Two experimental vessels designed by Samuel Bentham, Esq., at that time inspector-general of his majesty's naval works. They were in shape much sharper than vessels of war in general, and projected or raked forward, at each end like a wherry. Their breadth increased from the water-line upwards ; whereby it was considered that they would be stiffer, and less liable to overset than ordinary vessels. The decks were straight fore and aft, and the frames or ribs of less curvature than usual. They were constructed to carry twenty-four 32-pounder carronades upon the main deck, and were afterwards fitted to receive two more carronades of the same nature on each of their two short decks, which we may call the quarterdeck and forecastle. All these carronades were fitted upon the non-recoil principle. It is believed that both the Arrow and Dart subsequently took on board, for their quarterdecks, two additional 32s. They proved to be stiff vessels and swift sailers, but it was found necessary to add some dead wood to their bottoms, in order to make them stay better. Not knowing exactly what characteristic designation to give the Arrow and Dart, we have merely named them: they must be considered, especially when their force is compared with that of the two or three classes next above them, as extraordinary vessels for sloops of war, but as such only they ranked."
In 1799 Arrow was commanded by Nathaniel Portlock. On 9 September 1799 she captured the Dutch ship Draak, at anchor in the narrow passage between Vlie and Harlingen. She was also involved in the wreck and attempted salvage of the HMS Lutine, which sank on 9 October 1799 carrying a large cargo of gold.
On 25 July 1800 Nemesis was part of a squadron that also included Terpsichore, Prévoyante, Arrow, and the hired armed lugger Nile, when it encountered the Danish frigate HDMS Freja, which was escorting a convoy of two ships, two brigs and two galliots. Captain Baker of Nemesis hailed her and said that he would send a boat to board the convoy. The Danish captain refused, and said that if a boat approached he would fire on it. Baker sent a midshipman and four men in a boat, and the Danes fired several shots, which missed the boat, but one of which killed a man on Nemesis. Nemesis then opened fire with her broadside. After an engagement of about 25 minutes, Freja, much damaged, struck. She had suffered eight men killed and many wounded; both Nemesis and Arrow each suffered two men killed and several wounded. The British brought Freya and her convoy into the Downs on 6 March. They later released her, and presumably the rest of the convoy. This incident led to strained relations with Denmark, and, in order to anticipate any hostile move from Copenhagen, the British government despatched Earl Whitworth in August on a special mission to Copenhagen. The Danes not being ready for war, his mission staved off hostilities for about a year. In 1807, after the second battle of Copenhagen, the British captured Freja and took her into the Royal Navy as HMS Freya.
- James, Vol 1, p 403
- James, Vol ii p. 388.
- Van Der Molen, p.37.
- Naval Chronicle, Vol. 4, p.157.
- London Chronicle, 26–29 July 1800, p.104.
- James, Vol III, pp 66-80
- James (1823), Vol III pp 391-397
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- James, William; Chamier, Frederick (1837), The naval history of Great Britain from the declaration of war by France in 1793 to the accession of George IV (New ed., with additions and notes, and An account of the Burmese war and the battle of Navarino / by Captain Chamier ed.), Bentley, OCLC 1924562
- Laughton, John Knox (1896). "Portlock, Nathaniel". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 46. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Van Der Molen, S. J. (1970) The Lutine Treasure (ISBN 0-229-97482-1)