HMS Foxhound (1806)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Foxhound.
Name: HMS Foxhound
Namesake: Foxhound
Builder: King, Dover
Launched: 1806
Commissioned: May 1807
Honors and
Naval General Service Medal with the clasp "Basque Roads 1809"[1]
Fate: Foundered 31 August 1809
General characteristics
Class and type: Cruizer-class brig-sloop
Tons burthen: 384 2694 (bm)
  • 100 ft 0 in (30.5 m) (gundeck)
  • 77 ft 2 78 in (23.5 m) (keel)
Beam: 30 ft 7 in (9.3 m)
  • 7 ft 0 in (2.1 m) (unladen)
  • 11 ft 0 in (3.4 m) (laden)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 9 in (3.9 m)
Sail plan: Brig
Complement: 121

HMS Foxhound was an 18-gun Cruizer-class brig-sloop built by King at Dover and launched in 1806. She participated in the battle of the Basque Roads in early 1809 and foundered later that year.


Commander Pitt Burnaby Greene, late commander of the hired armed brig Cockatrice, commissioned Foxhound in May 1807.[2] On 26 August Foxhound captured the Danish vessel Adetheid Margaretha.[3] Two days later she captured the Danish vessels Gimlé and De Gode.[3]

On 28 June 1808 Foxhound captured the French chasse maree Susanne. Then on 11 January 1809 Foxhound recaptured the Hamburg ship Vierininguen.[4]

On 17 March 1809, Foxhound joined Admiral Lord Gambier's Channel fleet anchored off the Basque Roads. The British plan was to use the 60 vessels (of all kinds) to attack the French fleet lying within. The 15 French vessels there, commanded by Vice-Admiral Zacharie Allemand, lay behind a boom protected by 30 guns.

During this time Foxhound participated in the capture of two vessels, the Danish ship Neptunus on 24 March and the French ship Nymphe on 28 March.[5] For the capture of Neptunus, Foxhound was in company with Indefatigable and the sloop Goldfinch.[6] Foxhound was also in company with Indefatigable for the capture of Nymphe.[6]

On 11 April, two explosion ships, twelve fire ships, accompanied by bomb vessels and escorted by men-of-war, some 27 vessels in all, under the command of Captain Lord Cochrane, broke the boom under a heavy fire. Foxhound covered the bomb vessel Aetna near the Île-d'Aix, which was making a diversionary attack. The British main attack captured two French vessels and two were blown up, all with a total loss to the British of only eight men killed and 24 wounded. Still, Cochrane was highly critical of Gambier's failure to act more aggressively. (Gambier had earlier objected to the plan to use explosion (Cochrane's invention) and fire ships, calling it "a horrible and anti-Christian mode of warfare".)

Two of Foxhound's sister ships, Doterel and Beagle were also present at the Basque Roads. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the then-surviving participants in the battle the Naval General Service Medal with the clasp "Basque Roads 1809".[7]

On 16 May 1809, Foxhound sailed for Quebec with a convoy.[8]


While under the command of Commander James MacKenzie, Foxhound was returning from Halifax when she foundered in the Atlantic with the loss of all on board.[9] The loss occurred in August, and perhaps on 31 August 1809.[10] The vessels in company were unable to render any assistance.[11]

Citations and references[edit]

  1. ^ "no. 20939". The London Gazette. 26 January 1849. p. 243. 
  2. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine Vol. 163. p.89.
  3. ^ a b "no. 16498". The London Gazette. 22 June 1811. p. 1158. 
  4. ^ "no. 16253". The London Gazette. 2 May 1809. p. 629. 
  5. ^ "no. 16362". The London Gazette. 17 April 1810. p. 584. 
  6. ^ a b "no. 16308". The London Gazette. 21 October 1809. p. 1674. 
  7. ^ "no. 20939". The London Gazette. 26 January 1849. p. 243. 
  8. ^ "NMM, vessel ID 367137" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol i. National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Hepper (1994), p.130.
  10. ^ Gossett (1986), p.72.
  11. ^ Grocott (1997), p.283.
  • Gossett, William Patrick (1986) The lost ships of the Royal Navy, 1793-1900. (London:Mansell). ISBN 0-7201-1816-6
  • Grocott, Terence (1997), Shipwrecks of the revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, Chatham, ISBN 1-86176-030-2 
  • Hepper, David J. (1994) British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859. (Rotherfield: Jean Boudriot). ISBN 0-948864-30-3
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1. 

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