Otway (1800 ship)

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United Kingdom
Name: Otway
  • 1800:Thompson
  • 1803:Kitchen & Co.
Acquired: 1800 by purchase of a prize
Fate: Captured 1806
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 374[1] (bm)
Propulsion: Sail
  • 1800:16 × 6&9&18-pounder guns[1]
  • 1800:16 × 6&9&18-pounder guns[2]
  • 1801:16 × 6&9&18-pounder guns[1]
  • 1801:14 × 6-pounder guns + 2 ×18-pounder carronades
  • 1805:20 × 6&9-pounder guns[1]
  • 1806:4 × 12 + 14 × 6-pounder guns + 2 × 18-pounder carronades[3]

Otway was a French or Spanish vessel built in 1799 that became a Liverpool-based slaver in 1800. She made four voyages delivering slaves from West Africa to the West Indies before the French Navy captured her in 1806.

Ambiguous origins[edit]

Lloyd's Register gives inconsistent information on Otway's origins. Lloyd's Register lists her as of French origin, and launched in 1799. The Register of Shipping describes her as a Spanish prize, and gives her year as 1800. This was the year in which she was registered at Liverpool.[4]


Captain John Herron acquired a letter of marque on 11 November 1800.[1] He sailed from Liverpool on 4 December 1800. He gathered slaves at "West Central Africa and St. Helena", and 10 May 1801 delivered them to Kingston, Jamaica. Six crewmen, of 37, died on the voyage. Herron embarked 372 slaves, and disembarked 336, for a loss rate of 9.7%. Otway sailed from Kingston on 7 June, and arrived back at Liverpool on 5 July.[Note 1]

Otway enters Lloyd's Register in the 1801 volume with J. Herron, master, changing to L. Mann, and owner Thompson. Her trade is Liverpool—Africa.[2]

Captain Luke Mann acquired a letter of marque on 19 August 1801.[1] He sailed for Africa from Liverpool on 27 August.[4] Lloyd's List reported on 4 September that Otway, Mann, master, was on shore at Bootle Bay, Liverpool, while on her way to Africa.[5] Mann gathered his slaves in the Bight of Biafra (Bight of Bonny) and Gulf of Guinea islands. Otway delivered her slaves at Kingston on 21 March 1802. Three crew members of 41 died on the voyage. She had embarked 357 slaves and disembarked 321, for a loss rate of 10.1%. Otway sailed from Jamaica on 29 April and arrived at Liverpool on 12 June.[4]

Captain Mann made a second voyage in 1802. Otway sailed from Liverpool on 11 October, and arrived at Kingston on 16 May 1803. she had one crew member die on the voyage. She had embarked 336 slaves and disembarked 302, for a loss rate of 10.1%.[4] On 11 June the Royal Gazette advertised: "For Sale 302 Choice Young Ebo NEGROES imported in the ship Otway, Luke Mann, master."[6] Leigh Lyon replaced Mann as Otway's master. Otway left Jamaica on 21 July, and arrived back at Liverpool on 19 October.[4]

Lloyd's Register for 1804 shows Otway's master changing from L. Mann to D. Stewart, and her owner from Thompson to Kitchen & Co.[7] It is not clear what, if anything, Otway did in 1804. Captain Duncan Steward (or Stewart) acquired a letter of marque on 7 February 1805.[1]

Stewart sailed from Liverpool on 8 November 1804., bound from West Central Africa and St Helena. He gathered his slaves from the Congo River area and arrived at Kingston on 10 April 1805. Three men of the 48-man crew died on the voyage. Stewart embarked 369 slaves and disembarked 332, for a loss rate of 10%. Otway sailed from Jamaica on 4 July, and arrived at Liverpool on 24 August.[4]

Captain Alexander Hackney acquired a letter of marque on 10 September 1805.[1] He sailed from Liverpool on 1 October 1805, bound for Africa.[4]


In 1806 the French frigate Cybèle was part of a squadron under Commodore Jean-Marthe-Adrien L'Hermite, along with the 74-gun Régulus, the frigate Président and the brig-corvette Surveillant. During L'Hermite's expedition, she took part in the capture of the brig HMS Favourite and of about 20 merchantmen, notably Otway and Plowers (Plover).[8]

On 6 June 1806 Lloyd's List reported that Otway was "all well" off the "Logus Coast" of Africa.[9] Four days later Lloyd's List reported that the French had captured Otway.[10] The French captured Otway before she had embarked any slaves.[4] The same squadron also captured Sarah, Lord Nelson, Mary, Adams, master, and Nelson, Meath, master.[10]

The Register of Shipping for 1806 still carries Steward as Otway's master, but has the notation "captured" by her name.[11] Lloyd's Register has Stewart as master, but has no notation as to capture.

The French Navy may have considered taking Otway into service. Sources on the French Navy states that she was possibly commissioned as a corvette in the Navy, but if so it was brief. She is not on the Navy lists in 1807. Her ultimate fate is currently unknown.[3][12]

Notes, citations, and references[edit]


  1. ^ One can retrieve the voyage data from the database of slave voyages by clicking on the voyage number.[4]



  • Demerliac, Alain (2004). La Marine du Consulat et du Premier Empire: Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1800 A 1815 (in French). Éditions Ancre. ISBN 2-903179-30-1.
  • Nugent, Maria (2010) Lady Nugent's Journal: Jamaica One Hundred Years Ago. (Cambridge University Press). ISBN 9781108024419
  • Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours 1 1671 - 1870. p. 138. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922.
  • Winfield, Rif & Stephen S Roberts (2015) French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786 – 1861: Design Construction, Careers and Fates. (Seaforth Publishing). ISBN 9781848322042