HMS Talbot (1807)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Talbot.
Royal Navy EnsignUK
Name: HMS Talbot
Ordered: 4 October 1805
Builder: James Heath & Sons, East Teignmouth
Laid down: March 1806
Launched: 22 July 1807
Fate: Sold 1815 into mercantile service
General characteristics
Class and type: Cormorant class ship-sloop; reclassed 1811 as Post ship
Type: Quarterdeck ship-sloop
Tonnage: 4844694 bm
  • 113 ft 2 12 in (34.506 m) (overall)
  • 94 ft 1 in (28.7 m) (keel)
Beam: 31 ft 1 38 in (9.484 m)
  • Unladen: 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m)
  • Laden: 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Depth of hold: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Complement: 121
  • UD: 18 x 32-pounder carronades
  • QD: 6 x 12-pounder carronades
  • Fc: 2 x 6-pounder guns + 2 x 12-pounder carronades
  • Centreline: 1 x 12-pounder gun

HMS Talbot was a British Royal Navy 18-gun sloop-of-war built by James Heath & Sons, of East Teignmouth and launched in 1807. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment was the reversal of the liberation of Iceland that the colorful, erratic, former Royal Navy seaman and privateer Jørgen Jørgensen had carried out. Talbot was sold in 1815 for mercantile service.

Talbot Class[edit]

Talbot was the name ship for a class of two sloops; her sister ship was Coquette. Both were enlarged versions of the Cormorant-class ship-sloop. In 1811 the Admiralty re-rated Talbot and Coquette as 20-gun post ships.[1]


The Admiralty commissioned Talbot in September 1807 under Commander the Honourable Alexander Jones, who about a year later sailed her to Portugal.[1][Note 1]

In 1808 Jones and Talbot took three prizes: Lykens Proven (14 April), Union (17 May), and Bon Jesus e Almar (9 May).[4]

In 1809 Talbot was in the North Sea where she captured several prizes: Twee Gebroederss (26 April), Bagatellen (29 April), Neskelaen (30 April), Emanuel (2 May), Providentia (10 May), Gestina and Nautilus (18 May), and Sara Catharina (19 May).[5] The most notable, but still minor, capture occurred on 13 June when Talbot captured the Danish privateer Loven, off the Naze of Norway. Loven had two long guns, which she had dismounted during the chase, and a crew of 11. She had left Norway that morning and had made no captures.[6]

More interestingly, Talbot entered the harbour at Reykjavík on 14 August. After some investigation Jones took Jørgen Jørgensen into custody. Jørgensen had arrested the Danish governor and proclaimed himself "His Excellency, the Protector of Iceland, Commander in Chief by Land and Sea". With Talbot's arrival, the Danish government was restored and Jørgensen was taken to England, where he ended up in prison for more than a year, but for breaking parole after his earlier capture by Sappho, not for his adventures in Iceland.[7]

On 14 November, three Danish sloops arrived at Leith, prizes to Talbot, the sloop Charles, and the cutter Hero.[8]

In 1811, Captain Spelman Swaine commanded Talbot on the Irish station. On 30 November she was in company with the frigate Saldanha as they sailed from Lough Swilly, Donegal, where they were based. Four days later a gale caught them in the Lough. Saldanha foundered with the loss of her entire crew; Talbot got out to sea and survived.[9]

Later Talbot protected merchants sailing to and from Newfoundland and the West Indies.[9] On 5 August 1812, Talbot captured the American ship Rhoda and Betsey.[10]

Swaine transferred to Statira on 28 April 1814 after Lieutenant Thomas Walbeoff Cecil of Argo killed Captain Hassard Stackpole, of Statira, in a duel.[9] (Cecil was promoted into Electra but died of yellow fever in 1814.) Swaine's successor, in April 1814, was Captain Henry Haynes.[1]


In September 1814 Captain William Dowers took command of Talbot. Captain Archibald Tisdall succeeded him in July 1815. She was paid off in August or September 1815 before the Admiralty sold her on 23 November for ₤1,610 for mercantile use. Talbot entered mercantile service as the George.[1]


Early in 1815 Talbot captured the John, an American merchant vessel. However, it turned out that the US and Great Britain had signed a peace treaty on Christmas Eve 1814, so she was not a prize. Furthermore, the John was lost to "the perils of the sea" while in custody, leading to a suit by her owners against Talbot's captain. That suit was dismissed, but the United States claimed on behalf of the owners against the British government, and the court judged that the government did owe compensation. The settlement took place after 1853.[11]

Notes, citations, and references[edit]

  1. ^ On 15 June 1804 a court martial had ordered Jones, then a lieutenant in Naiad, shot for striking Lieutenant Dean, the senior lieutenant, during a quarrel on the quarterdeck. Dean was dismissed from the Navy for having behaved in an ungentlemanly manner towards his messmate.[2] On 25 June Jones received a pardon, his sword was returned to him and he was restored to his former rank. "He appeared greatly affected by this fresh instance of his Majesty's clemency".[3] Jones was promoted to Commander on 22 January 1806.[2])
  1. ^ a b c d Winfield (2008), p. 263.
  2. ^ a b Marshall (1828), Supplement, Part 2, p.391.
  3. ^ Naval Chronicle, (1804), vol. 12, p.251.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16234. p. 296. 4 March 1809.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16320. p. 1913. 28 November 1809.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16270. p. 969. 27 June 1809.
  7. ^ Simmonds (2002), pp.51-2.
  8. ^ Lloyd's List, no.4408,[1] - accessed 28 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Marshall (1828), Supplement, Part 2, p.81.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16951. p. 2151. 29 Oct 1814.
  11. ^ Cobbett, Pitt (1909-13) Cases and Opinions on International Law: pt. II. War. pt. III. Neutrality. (London: Stevens and Haynes), pp.229-232.
  • Marshall, John ( 1823-1835) Royal naval biography, or, Memoirs of the services of all the flag-officers, superannuated rear-admirals, retired-captains, post-captains, and commanders, whose names appeared on the Admiralty list of sea officers at the commencement of the present year 1823, or who have since been promoted ... (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown).
  • Simmonds, Jane (2002). Iceland. London: APA.
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1. 

External links[edit]

  • [2] Michael Phillips' Ships of the Old Navy - Talbot.