HMS Lynx (1794)
HMS Lynx and HMS Monkey capturing three Danish luggers, 12 August 1809, oil on canvas, 19th century
|Ordered:||18 February 1793|
|Builder:||William Cleverley, Gravesend|
|Laid down:||May 1793|
|Launched:||14 February 1794|
|Completed:||30 May 1794 at Woolwich Dockyard|
|Struck:||sold 28 April 1813|
|General characteristics |
|Class & type:||16-gun Cormorant-class sloop|
|Tons burthen:||426 3⁄94 bm|
|Length:||108 ft 4 in (33.0 m) (overall)
90 ft 9 in (27.7 m) (keel)
|Beam:||29 ft 8 1⁄2 in (9.1 m)|
|Depth of hold:||9 ft (2.7 m)|
|Armament:||16 x 6-pounder guns
12 x ½-pounder swivel guns
HMS Lynx was a 16-gun ship-rigged sloop of the Cormorant-class in the Royal Navy, launched in 1794 at Gravesend. In 1795 she was the cause of an international incident when she fired on the USRC Eagle. She was at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, and during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars took numerous prizes, mostly merchant vessels but also including some privateers. She was also at the second Battle of Copenhagen in 1807. She was sold in April 1813.
French Revolutionary War
Lynx was commissioned in April 1794 under Commander Charles Vinicombe Penrose on the Halifax Station. Penrose was promoted to Post-captain on 7 October 1794 and Commander Charles Rowley replaced Penrose in November.
On 31 January 1795, Rear-Admiral George Murray, the commander-in-chief on the North America station, sent Lynx, under the command of John Poo Beresford, and the newly-captured former French warship Esperance on a cruise out of Halifax. On 1 March the two vessels captured the Cocarde Nationale (or National Cockade), a privateer from Charleston, South Carolina, of 14 guns, six swivels and 80 men. Esperance and Lynx recaptured the ship Norfolk, of Belfast, and the brig George, of Workington.
Lynx and Eagle
The United States Coast Guard records that in 1795, Lynx, under the command of Beresford, fired a shot across the bow of the United states revenue Cutter Eagle. Hendrick Fischer, Eagle's acting captain, attempted to heave-to, but he had on board Senator Pierce Butler, from South Carolina, who ordered him to sail on. Lynx then began to fire continuously as Eagle sailed towards the shoal waters on the north point of Jekyll Island. As Lynx drew too much water to continue the chase, Beresford sent his pinnace and cutter in pursuit, under the command of Lieutenant Alexander Skene, who four years later would command Lynx. The British quickly overtook the schooner and came on board, demanding to know why it hadn't come about in response to the shots. After learning the schooner was in fact a revenue vessel of the U.S. government, Skene and his men returned to Lynx.
In the ensuing international political furor, Beresford stated that Lynx had been beyond the 12 mile limit and noted that the schooner was not flying any flag. The Eagle had not in fact flown the national ensign; for unexplained reasons it was instead stored in the captain's cabin. Eagle did apparently display some sort of small pennant that was not visible to Lynx. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard history of Eagle represents the only record of the incident.
On 9 June 1795 Lynx captured the Bedford, which had some bullion amongst her cargo. Rowley was apparently again her captain. On 3 July Commander Robert Hall was appointed to command Lynx, but apparently the Admiralty did not confirm the appointment until January 1796.
In August 1795 Commander Thomas Tireman took command of Lynx.
On 13 June 1798, Lynx captured the French privateer Isabelle, of two guns and 30 men. Two weeks later, she captured the Mentor, also a French privateer, of 14 six-pounders and 79 men. During the chase, Mentor threw six of her guns overboard to lighten her and thus, albeit insufficiently, improve her speed. Both privateers had set out from Puerto Rico to cruise the coast of the United States. Around this time Lynx captured the privateer Solide. The merchants of St. Johns sent Hall a letter of appreciation for the protection this capture gave to the colony.
On 6 July Lynx captured the American ship Pegasus. Four days later Lynx recaptured the American ship Liberty, from Philadelphia and bound for Liverpool, which a French privateer had captured on 4 July, a few hours after Liberty had left the Delaware River. On 8 August Lynx recaptured the Friendship.
On 17 September 1799 Lynx captured the brigantine Columbia. In October, Commander Alexander Skene took over command of Lynx.
In June 1801 Lynx returned to Britain from Copenhagen carrying Captain John F. Devonshire and dispatches. She does not appear to have participated in the Battle of Copenhagen in April as her name does not appear in the list of vessels whose crews qualified to share in the prize money stemming from the battle, nor in the list of vessels whose crew qualified for the Naval General Service Medal for the battle.
Shortly thereafter, on 15 April, Lynx captured the Dutch vessels Charlottenburg and Lucchesine. Then on 31 July Lynx and Jalouse captured the Brockmerlust, with the capture of the Neptunus following on 1 August. The next day Jalouse and Linx captured the Vrow Caterine. On 8 August Lynx and Squirrel captured the Vryheid. Eight days later, Lynx and Driver captured the Prosperitas. On 6 September Lynx, Jalouse, Squirrel and Driver shared in the capture of three vessels, Snelle, Jager, and Engestede. Six days later, Lynx, Driver and Aeolus shared in the capture of the Cygnet. The next day Lynx and Driver captured the Jussrow Harmyna. On 17 September Lynx, Pylades, and Kite recaptured the Pursuit. On 11 November Lynx and Driver captured the Norden. Commander John Willoughby Marshall took command of Lynx in June 1802.
In July 1804 Lynx took numerous prizes. She took the Four Brothers and Nike (or Nilea) on 10 July, the Jonge Pieter Casper Piersberg on 12 July, and the brigs Jonge Jan and Jacobus Zeeper on 30 July.
In April 1806 Lynx captured several Prussian vessels. These were the Electrum, Romulus, Goode Intentie, and the Vrow Mazka, on the 15th, 21st, and 26th. Earlier, in company with Texel and Nightingale, Lynx captured the Prussian ship Einigkeit on 6 April. They also captured the Jonge Ebeling, Freundschaft, and Morgenstern off Lieth.
On 21 April 1807, Lynx recaptured the brig Providence, Edward Fox, Master. Then on 20 April Lynx captured another Prussian vessel, the Fortuna. Lynx, the hired armed cutter Lord Kieth, and Resolution shared in the proceeds of the capture of the Danish merchant-vessel Adjutor, on 6 August. Eight days later Lynx, Resolution and Ariel shared in the capture of the Aurora.
Lynx shared with Ariadne in the capture of the Catharina Frederika on 3 June. That same day the two British ships also captured the Philip. On 13 July they captured the Jussrouw Antje. The gun-brig Constant shared with Lynx the capture, on 7 May, of the Rebecca and the Jonge Tobias. Lynx also shared in the prize money for captures at Heligoland on 5 September in connection with the surrender of the Danish fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen.
On 22 March 1808, Lynx, Falcon and Quebec were present at the Battle of Zealand Point, though they did not actually take part in the battle. In the battle the ships-of-the-line Stately and Nassau succeeded in destroying the Danish ship-of-the-line Prins Christian Frederik.
In May, Lynx shared with Salsette in the capture of a schuyt. While sailing in company with the gun-brig Snipe, Lynx captured the Jagten Sophia Cecilia on 12 July. On 16 November Lynx captured three vessels: Neptune, Resolution, and Elizabeth. In December, Lynx captured the Achir, Kairn, Elizabeth, Haabert, Spimgeren, Venus, St. Andreas, Nicholay, and Ann, on the 11th, 13th, 14th, and 15 December.
On 12 August, Commander John Willoughby Marshall and the Lynx, in the company of the gun-brig Monkey under the command of Lieutenant Thomas Fitzgerald, discovered three Danish luggers off the Danish coast. The water was too shallow for Lynx, so Marshall sent Monkey and boats from Lynx in to cut them out. The largest of the luggers, which had four guns and four howitzers, opened fire on Monkey before all three luggers ran ashore once Monkey and the launch's 18-pounder carronade returned fire. The British refloated the luggers and brought them out the next day, having taken no casualties. In their haste to quit the vessel, the Danes failed to fire the fuse on a cask of gunpowder they had left by the fireplace on the largest lugger. Marshall thought the Danes' behaviour in leaving the explosive device disgraceful. The largest lugger was the Captain Japen (or Captain Jassen). She had had a crew of 45 men, who had fled, and during the engagement she had thrown two of her howitzers overboard. The second lugger, name unknown, had four guns and a crew of 20. The third lugger was the Speculation, of three guns and 19 men. Her crew too had thrown two guns overboard. At the end of the month, on 27 August, Lynx captured a Danish sloop that also bore the name Speculation.
On 28 October 1809 Cheerful captured the Destrigheiden, the Rinaldine and a sloop, name unknown, while in the company of Tartar and Lynx. By agreement, Marshall and Commander Joseph Baker of Tartar pooled their share of the prize money with that due Lieutenant Daniel Carpenter, the commander of the Cheerful.[Note 1]
Vanguard and Plantagenet were in company with Lynx on 2 November when they captured the Ornen and another vessel. Lynx was again in company with Vanguard on 4 November when they captured the Frende Broder. Five days later Lynx captured the Danish sloops St. Ole and Sterkadder.
On 29 and 30 April Lynx, the gun-brig Flamer and the frigate Fisgard captured three privateers. On the 29th they captured the Juliana off Wismar. Juliana had six guns but a crew of only 23 men. The next day they captured Ziska off Trindelen. She armed with six guns and had a crew of 40 men. At the same time they captured the Omen, of one gun.
On 30 May 1810, Lynx and Flamer captured the Danish vessel Hercules. By agreement, the British vessels shared the proceeds with Fisgard. The three vessels also shared in Fisgard's capture of the French privateer Furet, of two guns, off Warnemünde. Lynx again shared by agreement with Fisgard in the proceeds of the recapture of the Margaretha Catarina and the James Cook on 10 June. Fisgard also shared by agreement her portion with Flamer, as well as the proceeds of the capture of the Gopa on 22 June.
In October Commander Thomas Percival took command. Then on 20 December Lynx captured the Fortuna. Two days later, Lynx came across the derelict Providence at sea. Lynx took possession and in 1811 received salvage money for the vessel.
Lynx was laid up at Deptford in May 1811. She was sold there for ₤1330 on 24 April 1813.
- Winfield (2008).
- The London Gazette: . 4 December 1798.
- The London Gazette: . 8 December 1798.
- The London Gazette: . 10 July 1802.
- The London Gazette: . 28 July 1795.
- The London Gazette: . 10 August 1802.
- Burke, Edmund, Annual Register, Vol. 84, p.269.
- The London Gazette: . 7 May 1799.
- The London Gazette: . 17 August 1798.
- The London Gazette: . 15 September 1798.
- The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 172, p.207.
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- The London Gazette: . 22 May 1804.
- The London Gazette: . 29 November 1800.
- The London Gazette: . 3 August 1802.
- The London Gazette: . 24 August 1802.
- The United service magazine, Part 1, p.97.
- The London Gazette: . 15 September 1801.
- The London Gazette: . 29 January 1803.
- The London Gazette: . 21 July 1804.
- The London Gazette: . 19 April 1803.
- The London Gazette: . 17 July 180.
- The London Gazette: . 2 October 1804.
- The London Gazette: . 30 March 1802.
- The London Gazette: . 10 December 1805.
- The London Gazette: . 27 September 1803.
- The London Gazette: . 2 April 1805.
- The London Gazette: . 10 February 1807.
- The London Gazette: . 21 October 1806.
- The London Gazette: . 28 January 1809.
- The London Gazette: . 4 August 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 26 October 1816.
- The London Gazette: . 23 May 1807.
- The London Gazette: . 21 October 1809.
- The London Gazette: . 22 May 1813.
- The London Gazette: . 19 February 1814.
- The London Gazette: . 9 April 1808.
- The London Gazette: . 24 February 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 21 July 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 16 November 1816.
- Logbook of HMS Falcon held at National Archives, Kew, London – reference ADM51/4446.
- The London Gazette: . 4 March 1815.
- The London Gazette: . 11 May 1811.
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- The London Gazette: . 11 July 1815.
- The London Gazette: . 9 September 1809.
- Norrie (1827), p.202.
- The London Gazette: . 2 October 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 26 November 1814.
- The London Gazette: . 11 July 1815.
- The London Gazette: . 8 June 1811.
- The London Gazette: . 19 February 1811.
- The London Gazette: . 17 November 1812.
- The London Gazette: . 16 June 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 23 November 1811.
- The London Gazette: . 4 June 1811.
- The London Gazette: . 27 October 1810.
- The London Gazette: . 16 March 1811.
- The London Gazette: . 1 June 1811.
- The London Gazette: . 23 July 1811.
- Colledge, J.J. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy From the Fifteenth Century to the Present. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987. ISBN 0-87021-652-X.
- Kippis, Alexander (1809) The new annual register, or General repository of history, politics, and literature: to which is prefixed, a short review of the principal transactions of the present reign, for the year 1798. (London).
- John William Norrie (1827) The naval gazetteer, biographer, and chronologist : containing a history of the late wars, from their commencement in 1793 to their conclusion in 1801; and from their re-commencement in 1803 to their final conclusion in 1815; and continued, as to the biographical part, to the present time. (London), p. 202.
- Winfield, Rif. British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1793-1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing, 2nd edition, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.