HMS Caesar

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Caesar, 1793
Type: 2nd rate ; Armament 80
Launched : 16 Nov 1793 at Plymouth ;
Disposal date or year : 1821
BM: 2003 tons
Complement: 724

2 May - 1 Jun 1794 Departure of the Channel Fleet from St. Helen's, and the lead up to actions and manoeuvres with the French fleet. 19 May 1794 covered frigates looking into Brest Roads. 29 May - 1 Jun., what was to be known as the Battle of the Glorious 1st June commences, resulting in the capture of six sail of the line and one sunk. Review of the part performed by each British ship engaged. 13 Jun, the fleet arrived back in home ports.

14 Feb 1795 the Channel fleet departed from Torbay for a brief cruise and to see various convoys safe out of the Channel.

4 Jun 1797, evening, departed Spithead with the Prince, Ganges, Caesar, Bedford and Formidable, under R.-Adm Sir R. Curtis to join Adm. Duncan off the Texel.

7 Jun 1797, passed by the back of the Goodwin Sands with R.-Adm Sir R. Curtis' squadron, and has been joined by the Glatton.

28 Oct 1798 Caesar, Terrible and Melpomene chase French Squadron on its return from Ireland.

20 Mar 1799 Plymouth, went out to the Sound from Hamoaze.

27 Mar 1799 Plymouth, remains with the squadron in Cawsand Bay.

1 Apr 1799 Plymouth, departed to join Lord Hugh Seymour

25 Apr 1799 cruising off Brest.

8 Jun 1799 Plymouth, reports received here advise that 16 ships of the line and 4 frigates were detached by Lord Bridport for the Straits.

13 Jun 1799 the Achille arrived at Plymouth, from off Brest, having lost a bowsprit, and foretop mast, having been run foul of by the Caesar and received much damage : one of the crew was killed.

16 Jun 1799 the Caesar and Aimable sent into the Tagus to bring out the French prizes taken at the Battle of the Nile and they departed the mouth of the Tagus on 22nd with troops for England for a Secret Expedition.

Circa late Jun 1799 arrived in the Tagus from the Channel Squadron to take a convoy and prizes to the England.

Caesar 13 Jul 1799 Plymouth arrived this morning from off Lisbon, the Royal Sovereign, Caesar, Russell, with five of Lord Nelson's prizes, viz. La Tonant 84, Canopus 84, Spartiate 74, Aboukir 74, and Conquerant 74.

23 Mar 1800 Plymouth, came in from off Brest, which they left the 19th inst.

18 Apr 1800 Plymouth, departed for Torbay.

18 May 1800 Plymouth, the Channel fleet passed up for Torbay this morning having experienced the fury of the gale when laying to off Brest, on Friday last under storm stay-sails ; the sea ran mountains high, and the wind suddenly shifted from S.W. to N.W. and lay several men of war on their beams ends, but soon righted, though they shipped several heavy seas and a number received damage to their masts ; the Caesar, had some of her half ports knocked in, and a boat stove on her larboard quarter; she shipped so much water on the main deck, that the crew were obliged to scuttle the deck to let out the water.

15 Jul 1800 Plymouth, arrived from the fleet [off Brest].

23 Jul 1800 Plymouth, departed to join the Channel fleet.

17 Aug 1800 Plymouth, came in from the fleet to refit. She left them all well on the I5th inst.

22 Aug 1800 Plymouth, R.-Adm. Calder hoisted his flag on board the Caesar, in Cawsand Bay.

31 Aug 1800 Plymouth, departed to join the Channel fleet.

19 Sep 1800 Plymouth, Letters from the Caesar of 16th, state that the squadron, off the Black Rocks, were all well. They had taken possession of a small island about 2 miles from the coast, where there was plenty of game, rabbits, pigeons, &c. which, with fish and vegetables, affords, them many comforts.

30 Sep 1800 Plymouth, letters from the Caesar, 84, of 26th, state, that the squadron was in Dauarnez Bay, near Brest, where they sheltered in the late heavy gales.

1 Oct 1800 off Brest.

23 Oct 1800 Deuarnez Bay, with the flying squadron off the Black Rocks, the weather fine.

29 Nov 1800 Plymouth, Impetueux, 84, has received orders to relieve the Caesar, 84, on the station off the Black Rocks.

11 Dec 1800 Plymouth, departed the lmpetueux, 84, to join the flying squadron off Brest and relieve the Caesar.

14 Dec 1800 Plymouth, passed up for Torbay, after a 20 weeks cruize off the Black Rocks, the Ceasar, and Pompée.

21 Dec 1800 Portsmouth, arrived from the Channel Fleet.

26 Feb 1801 departed Spithead, for Torbay.

5 Mar 1801 departed Torbay, the Ville de Paris, Windsor Castle, San Josef, and Caesar, to join the Channel Fleet.

7 Mar 1801 passed by Plymouth Sound to relieve the Mars on the inshore station off Brest.

10 Mar 1801 relieved last Saturday by the Mars.

30 May 1801 shortly due to be relieved by the Mars, on the Black Rock station.

2 Jun 1801 looked into the outer road of Brest, and was saluted with a shower of shot and shells that were perfectly harmless. The combined fleets were as described by the Suwarrow. From the best accounts that can be procured, it appears the French fleet is weakly manned, and the Spanish fleet very sickly.

2 Jun 1801 arrived Cawsand Bay having been relieved on the 31st ult. by the Mars.

10 Jun 1801 the men of war in Cawsand Bay have been this fine weather paying their yards, bends, tops, &c. and now setting up their rigging. Remain in Cawsand Bay the Princess Royal, Caesar, Namur, Spencer, Juste, Pompee.

11 Jun 1801 orders came down this day to Plymouth for Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez, Bart, with four 74's, a frigate, and armed brig, to prepare for a secret service.

15 Jun 1801 departed Plymouth Sound this evening at six o'clock, the squadron under Rear Admiral Sir James Saumarez, Bart, with the Caesar, Pompée, Spencer, Hannibal, Audacious, Thames, Paisley, of 16, and Plymouth lugger. They are victualled and stored for five months. Their orders are not to be opened till the squadron arrives in a certain latitude. Previous to the sailing of the above squadron twenty tons of vegetables and 2000 weight of fresh beef were conveyed on board by the gun-boats.

5 Jul 1801 departed from off Cadiz for Algeziras roads where, on the 6th, the squadron engaged a small French squadron protected shore batteries, during which severe action the Hannibal went aground and was lost to the Spanish and French : details of casualties sustained in the action.

Anecdote of the Gallantry of a British Seaman. In the very spirited, though unsuccessful, attack on Admiral Linois' squadron in the Bay of Algesiras, the 5th of July 1801, the heavy fire the Caesar had sustained had rendered every boat perfectly useless. Rear-Admiral Sir J. Saumarez deeming it necessary to send some particular orders of great consequence (in the then state of the action, and the perilous situation of the Hannibal, of 74 guns, Captain S. Ferris, on shore, and very much exposed to a raking fire of shot and shells from Linois* squadron and the batteries at Algesiras, manned by French artillerymen, without her being able to bring a gun to bear) to the Venerable, of 74 guns, Captain S. Hood, he went to the railing of the quarter-deck, and asked who could swim ? A young seaman, named Collins, nineteen years of age, one of the Admiral's barge's crew, immediately run up the ladder, and answered, he could very well. He immediately stripped, took the orders in his mouth, went over the side, and actually swam to the Venerable, then fifty yards off ; delivered the orders to Captain S. Hood, took the answer in his mouth, and accomplished his return to the Caesar in about forty-nine minutes, to the astonishment of every person on board. The sea was literally splashed with shot and shells during the time Collins was swimming to and from the Venerable. His name is deserving a place in the annals of British seamens' daring intrepidity in the hour of danger. This gallant business of Algesiras Bay on Linois's squadron was the means of saving Lisbon, which was to have been attacked by the French and Spaniards jointly, had not this action, and the subsequent victory off Cadiz, on the 12th July 1801, occurred. This circumstance is not generally known, but does credit to the foresight of Rear-Admiral Sir J. Saumarez, K.B.

12 Jul 1801 departed Gibraltar to chase a Franco-Spanish squadron observed sailing from Algeziras. 12th-13th the engagement commenced resulting in the destruction of 2 first rates, and the capture of a 3rd rate.

21 Jul 1801 letters received Plymouth from the Caesar state, that the squadron was on the 26th of June in lat. 49° 9' N. which state they were all well steering for Gibraltar.

Circa Aug 1801 S. Champion, Acting Secretary to Sir James Saumarez, on board the Caesar, to be Purser of the Thames.

4 Aug 1801 by letters from on board the Caesar state, that on Captain Ferris presenting his sword to Admiral Linois on the quarter-deck of the Formidable, he politely returned it, saying, so brave an officer deserved to wear his sword ; and sent a flag of truce with Capt. Ferris, Captain Lord Cochrane, and all the wounded men to Gibraltar, that could be removed.

5 Sep 1801 letters received at Plymouth from an officer of the Thames, dated 16 Aug., off Cadiz, state that Rear Admiral Sir J. Saumarez, Bart, with seven sail of the line, two frigates, and a sloop of war, having refitted at Gibraltar, departed the 9th to block up Cadiz, and on the 10th ult. was joined by Commodore Tyler with 4 sail of the Baltic Fleet from Cork ; his fleet now consists of the following ships : Caesar, Warrior, Pompee, Spencer, Venerable, Superbe, Bellona, Defence, Russell, Audacious, St. Antonio, Caroline, 44, Thames, 32, and Peterell, 18, all well equipped and in high spirits.

12 Sep 1801 letters from the Caesar, dated off Cadiz, the 26 Aug state that the gallant Saumarez had declared that port in a complete state of blockade, and captured all vessels of every description going into or coming from that Port.

6 Jan 1802 in Gibraltar Bay.

15 Jan 1802 was reported to be off Gibraltar.

20 Jan 1802 letters received Plymouth from the Caesar, 84, R.-Adm. Sir James Saumarez, KB dated the 29th ult. state, that the following men of war were victualled and stored for five months, and had sailed for Jamaica, viz. St George, 98, Captain Thompson (acting) ; Vanguard, 74, Capt. ; Spencer, 74, Capt. Darby ; Powerful, 74, Capt. Sir F. Laforey.

5 Feb 1802 letters received Plymouth from the Caesar, 84, state that Adm. Gantheaume's squadron had passed the Gut of Gibraltar the 20th ult., and that Sir James had dispatched after them the Bellona, 74 ; Warrior, 74 ; Zealous, 74 ; Defence, 74, to watch them ; destination unknown.

circa 27 Feb 1802 the Penelope, departed Gibraltar for England, leaving the following vessels at Gibraltar : the Caesar, Sir J Saumarez ; the Dreadnought, Capt Vashon ; Superb, Capt Keats ; Triumph, Capt Barlow ; Phoenix, Capt Halsted ; and Leda, Capt Hope.

27 Mar 1802 letters received at Plymouth from the Caesar, 84, dated Gibraltar, 23 Feb mention the British squadron under his command being all well. The winter had been uncommonly severe, and the snow on the Andalusian mountains very deep. Provisions were also dear, but as there was a great intercourse of civilities between the Officers of the Spanish lines at St. Roque, and the Spanish families and Officers at Algesiras, the hours passed pleasantly away.

Circa 24 Apr 1802 Captain Brenton, of the Caesar, to the Santa Dorothea frigate, vice Captain Downman, who succeeds Captain Brenton in the command of the Caesar.

May 1802 had departed Gibraltar for Minorca to supervise the turnover of the Island to the Spanish when the Isis arrived Gibraltar with HRH Duke of Kent from Falmouth.

7 May 1802 letters received from the Caesar, now at Minorca, confirm that the supervision of the evacuation of personnel and naval stores &c. continues, along with the transfer of some stores to the Spanish Governor.

19 May 1802 letters received at Plymouth from Malta state that R.-Adm. Sir J. Saumarez, KB was hourly expected in Valetta Roads from Gibraltar, in the Caesar, 84, to witness the evacuation of Malta, according to the Treaty of Peace, by the British and Austrian troops. [Judging from the adjacent items, this item would appear to have been the result of suppositions by the letter writer which didn't turn out as suggested. But I've left it in as an example of what to be aware of and can come across when researching. Sometimes I just ignore such items, but if there is a possibility that the writer knows something we don't, I'll leave it in and hopefully delete it at a later date if it transpires that it was a case of someone filling a bit of space in an article with what eventually turns out to be incorrect.]

5 Jun 1802 letters received Plymouth from the Caesar, 84, R.-Adm. Sir J. Saumarez, KB dated the 7 May last, Mahon Roads, state his arrival there from Gibraltar, to superintend the evacuation of that island to the Spanish Government, with all its dependencies. These letters were brought to Falmouth in a transport, by the master of the late Diamond brig, of this port, wrecked on her passage to Leghorn, off Barcelona. Crew saved.

1 Jul 1802 the Caesar is reported to have departed Gibraltar, with a company of artillery, the Genereux, Europa, Cameleon, and Port Mahon, for Spithead.

10 Jul 1802 letters received at Plymouth, from Port Mahon, dated June 2nd, from an officer of the Caesar, 84, R.-Adm. Sir James Saumarez, state the complete evacuation of the Island of Minorca, to the Governor appointed by the King of Spain. The British Squadron was expected to sail for Gibraltar in a few days with the troops and stores. The Thames, 32, dispatched for Alexandria, was hourly expected to join Sir James Saumarez. The fleet and army were very healthy and mutual civilities took place between the Spanish and British Officers.

17 Jul 1802 the Caesar, 84, is hourly expected here to be paid off and laid up in ordinary and moorings are now getting ready for her against her arrival.

23 Jul 1802 arrived Spithead the Caesar, 80, with the Europa, armed en flute, Captain Stuart ; and the Pigmy cutter, Lt Shepheard, from Gibraltar, and put in quarantine.

24 Jul 1802 cleared from quarantine, following which Adm Saumarez landed at the Sally Port, apparently in good health.

31 Jul 1802 departed Spithead for Plymouth, to be paid off.

2 Aug 1802 orders are come down to receive the Genereux, 84, and Caesar, 84, from Portsmouth, as soon as they have performed quarantine, to be paid off and laid up in ordinary in the River Tamar, on account of their great draught of water.

7 Aug 1802 arrived Plymouth Sound from Spithead, the Caesar. 84, Captain Downman when released from quarantine. Rear-Admiral Sir J. Saumarez, struck his flag, and set off for London.

11 Oct 1802 the Foudroyant, 84, Caesar, 84, and Sans Pareil, 84, are now hauled alongside the Jetty Head, at Plymouth, preparatory to going into dock to be repaired, when the ships now in dock go out. Quantities of serviceable beams, knees, and other timber, have been saved from the Commerce de Marseilles, broken up, which will be converted to many useful purposes in the repairs of the ships in dock.

Doubled and sheathed &c.from top of the side down to six strakes under the wale and strengthened with diagonal braces

Circa 24 Dec 1803 H Somerville Esq., apptd to be Purser of the Caesar, fitting for commission at Plymouth.

May 1805 Plymouth in Ordinary

22 Aug 1805 brief encounter with the French fleet before it departed back into the safety of Brest.

29 Oct 1805 in search of the Rochefort squadron. 2 Nov Phoenix reported position of the French Squadron : the chase began. 3-4 Nov 4th, the frigates harass the French rear. The action. the French haul down their colours. Casualties. The frigates role in the action ; prizes taken to Plymouth and added to the Service. The honours, awards and promotions.

4 Jan 1806 Sir R. Strachan's squadron fitting for the West Indies at Plymouth. 14th the squadron departed from Cawsand Bay for St.-Helena in search of a French squadron under R.-adm Willaumez.

19 May 1806 departed from Plymouth as part of a squadron under R.-adm Sir R J Strachan to cruise off Madeira and the Canary islands. 8 Aug arrived Barbadoes. 18 Aug. having departed the squadron was separated by a gale.

29 Nov 1807-18 Jan 1808 off Rochefort watching the French squadron, but bad weather and the need to victual pushed the squadron under R.-adm Sir R J Strachan out to sea.

Circa 1 Feb 1808 having, due to bad weather, been unable to maintain a watch off Rochefort, R.-adm. Strachan's squadron, on being informed of the escape of the French squadron, probably bound to the Mediterranean, departed in pursuit.

Circa 4 Feb 1808 off Ferrol, spoke Sir R King's squadron ; on the 9th was off Cadiz, passed the Rock on the following day, and joined V.-adm. E. Thornborough's squadron in Palermo bay on the 21st.

2 Mar 1808 joined Lord Collingwood's squadron off the island of Maritimo. 6 Mar received news that the French fleet had been at sea for a month and departed in search, which continued for a week or two after the French fleet had returned to Toulon on 10 Apr. Leaving Vice-admiral Thornborough with a sufficient force to blockade Toulon, Lord Collingwood departed for Gibraltar and Cadiz, to contribute his aid to the cause of the Spanish patriots.

23 Feb 1809 Amethyst observes M. Willaumez's French squadron abreast of the Tour de Baleine and signalled Rear-admiral Stopford's squadron, consisting of the Cæsar, Defiance, and Donegal, who went in chase of the French, and watched them entering Basque road on the 24th and despatched the frigate Naïad to inform Lord Gambia.

24 Feb 1809 Naïad observed 3 suspicious sail coming down from the northward and signalled Rear-admiral Stopford's squadron accordingly : leaving the Amethyst and Emerald to watch Basque road, the squadron departed in search of the approaching vessels.

24 Feb 1809 Amelia and Dotterel in chase of a French frigate squadron, who on sighting Rear-admiral Stopford's squadron steered for the Sable d'Olonne where they came to anchor. Following a heavy bombardment the French ships were driven on shore and were subsequently wrecked.

24 Feb 1809 later that day Rear-admiral Stopford's squadron returned to his station off the Chasseron lighthouse, and observed the squadron of M. Willaumez at anchor in Basque roads, and was joined on the 25th by Captain Beresford and his three ships, with his force thus augmented to seven sail of the line and five frigates, resumed the blockade of the port, with the Hero joining shortly afterwards.

7 Mar 1809 Admiral Lord Gambier relieved Rear-admiral Stopford's in command of the blockade of Basque Roads.

17 Mar 1809 anchored in Basque roads. 11 Apr the use of fire ships, explosion-vessels, and Congreve rockets against the French fleet at Basque roads and the results thereof. 12 Apr attempt made to destroy grounded French vessels, following the previous night's attack.

28 Jul 1809 a part of a large fleet which departed from the Downs, with troops, with the aim of demolishing the dock-yards, and arsenals at Antwerp, Terneuse, and Flushing, often known as the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition.

Portsmouth 10 Jan 1810 departed for Plymouth.

Portsmouth 21 Apr 1811 Parted company from a squadron at the back of the Isle of Wight.

Plymouth 23 Apr 1811 Came in with convoy from Lisbon

Caesar / César, 1806
Type: Brig-sloop ; Armament 16
Taken : 15 Jul 1806 in Verdun Roads ;
Wrecked Mar 1807 off the Gironde.

Caesar, 1815
Type: Anti-slavery cruiser ; Armament ?
Possibly hired : ?? ; Notes:

11 Mar 1815 Le Louis, French Slave Ship, captured off Cape Musurada by his HM Cruiser Caesar. Sir Wm. Scott gave judgment upon this important appeal from sentence of condemnation passed by the judge of Sierra Leone. The ship was taken on the after a severe engagement, followed by an attempt to escape; in which 11 persons were killed on one side, and 24 on the other, besides several wounded on both sides.
The cause of this melancholy contest was a right of search and visitation set up by the Caesar, on suspicion that this vessel was engaged in the Slave Trade ; denied and rejected by the Louis, who thereupon resisted that demand, which had produced such a calamitous and tragic result.
The Judge of Sierra Leone, carrying with him a liberal education, and no doubt actuated by a laudable zeal for the enforcement of those laws respecting the abolition of the slave trade, had done that which he considered justice between the parties.
But he (Sir Wm. Scott) was called upon to direct an equal administration of justice to all parties..... big snip..... Upon the whole, therefore, the Court declared, that on both the grounds alleged in the sentence, the condemnation was untenable, and must therefore be reversed ; and it consequently restored the ship and cargo ; but considering the question as one that was primae impressions, it did not condemn the seizer in costs and damages.