HMS Canopus

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Canopus, 1798
Type: 2nd rate ; Armament 80
Taken : 1 Aug 1798 ; Disposal date or year : 1887
Dimensions : Length of lower deck 193 ft. 10 in. Breadth extreme 51 ft. 6¾ in. Depth of hold 23 ft. 4½ in. BM: 2257 Tons.

1 Aug 1798 Former French ship Franklin captured at the Nile and renamed Canopus.

14 Aug 1798 the Orion, Bellerophon, Minotaur, Defence, Audacious, Theseus, and Majestic, accompanied by the prizes Franklin, Tonnant, Aquilon, Conquérant, Peuple-Souverain and Spartiate leave Aboukir Bay.

Mid Sep 1798 arrive Gibraltar with prizes and after making repairs sail for England.

The Franklin, being built of Adriatic oak, her value became greatly enhanced. She was launched in the spring of 1797.

14 Dec 1798 Franklin purchased into the service and renamed Canopus.

13 Jul 1799 Plymouth, arrived this morning from off the Rock of 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.

17 Jul 1799 Plymouth, passed up the harbour this morning, the Mars, with the Tonnant, Canopus, Spartiate, Aboukir, and Conquerant, French prizes, with bands playing and cheers from the spectators, and each ship returning the cheers as she passed.

30 Jul 1801 hauled alongside the Jetty Head at Plymouth, previous to going into dock.

Aug 1801 per article from the Naval Chronicle, an account of the experiment for lifting ships in dock to put in a new keel, which was lately tried for the first time on the Canopus, of 84 guns, in Plymouth Dock, by Mr. Sibbins, the builder's first assistant :- By means of wedges driven against the blocks on each side the keel, and the use of the catapulta, or battering ram, applied to them, the blocks are forced out much easier and with less danger. Fewer shores are required to support the ship, which also -strains less, and hangs as it were in slings ; by this simple operation forty men in twelve hours can perform as much work as used to take, on the old principle, 300 men three days ; although some ships, in the old method of knocking out the blocks under the keel, have settled from eight to ten inches, the Canopus only settled, one quarter of an inch by this new method. A numerous concourse of artists and others attended to see the experiment tried on the Canopus, and were perfectly satisfied with its usefulness and simplicity.

10 Sep 1801 orders came down to Plymouth for the Canopus to be got ready for commission with all possible dispatch.

13 Nov 1801 The Canopus, now in dock at Plymouth, has been repaired and coppered, and goes out of dock next spring tide ; she is a fine man of war, but rather wall sided.

31 Dec 1801 went out of dock, and up the harbour to the higher moorings, to be laid up in ordinary, having received a complete repair.

24 Mar 1803 is to be hauled down into the Hamoaze for immediate commission.

18 Apr 1803 fitting for sea in Hamoaze.

30 Apr 1803 continues fitting out for sea in Hamoaze.

9 May 1803 made a signal to go into Cawsand Bay.

6 Jun 1803 sent into Plymouth the Dutch ship Anna Sophie, a prize to the a tender to the Canopus. Unfortunately she failed to stop following capture and the Seagull, 18, had to fire a warning shot to bring her to, but unfortunately, with the movement of the sea, the shot hit the Anna Sophie, killing a Mr Baker from Cawsand.

13 Jun 1803 goes down to Cawsand Bay, prior to sailing for the Fleet.

28 Jun 1803 departed Plymouth to join the Channel Fleet.

7 Jul 1803 it is reported unofficially at Plymouth that the following ships of the line : Malta, Canopus, Sceptre, and Conqueror, have been sent from the Channel FleetFleet to assist with the blockade off Cadiz &c.

Circa 18 Jul 1803 R.-Adm Campbell struck his flag on board the Culloden and shifted it to the Canopus.

30 Jul 1803 arrived Gibraltar from off Cadiz, having left the Malta cruising off Cadiz.

4 Aug 1803 departed Gibraltar to join Lord Nelson off Toulon.

Early Aug 1803, joined the squadron in the Mediterranean.

16 Sep 1803 a letter received from the squadron based off Cadiz, states that it consists of the Canopus, Conqueror, Sultan, Malta, ships of the line ; and Doris, frigate ; and Hind cutter, so I guess we are looking at a date of dispatch of about 3+ weeks prior to receipt ? The writer discusses his best guesses, plus galley rumours for the future plans for these vessels, but don't think it worth detailing.

The Hampshire Telegraph of the 10 Oct 1803, reports receipt of a letter from the Victory, off Toulon, dated 1 Sep., brought to England by the frigate Experiment, just arrived at Spithead, stating that the Victory has been cruising there for 5 weeks ; the squadron consists of 6 sail of the line, including also the Kent, Canopus, Superb, Triumph and Renown ; the French squadron remains the same, apart from a frigate and a brig which got into Toulon, from Marseilles, when heavy gales blew the blockading squadron off the coast.

Late 1803, Of the weak and ill-provided state of several of his ships, Lord Nelson, in his letters to the admiralty, complained very bitterly, and, as it appears, not without reason. " . . . . . . . . "Every bit of twice-laid stuff belonging to the Canopus is condemned, and all the running rigging in the fleet, except the Victory's. . . . . . "

4 Jan 1804 departed with the Mediterranean fleet on a cruise, arriving back at Sardinia on 27th. 1 Feb cruised on the French coast, anchoring off Cabrera on the 8th ; cruised again from the 19 Feb to 25 Mar.

3 Apr 1804 cruised off the French coast apart from returning briefly to the Magdalena islands to water from 11 to 19 May.

24 May 1804 reconnoitred the French fleet in Toulon.

13 Jun 1804 a small French squadron entered Toulon.

19 Jul 1804 following the receipt of supplies from England the fleet departed for the gulf of Palma to store ship ; returned 26 Aug.

19-> Jan 1805 whilst watering at Agincourt sound the Mediterranean fleet was informed that the Toulon fleet was at sea, the Canopus and Tigre detached to search for the French fleet off Egypt, arriving 4 Feb. It was discovered on 14 Feb that the French fleet had returned to Toulon.

28 Mar 1805 victualled at Palma and on the 3 Apr departed to water at Pulla bay, but on the 4th Phoebe reported that the Toulon fleet was at sea again : the search began again. 4 May, having heard that the Toulon fleet had passed through the Straits on 8 Apl, the fleet anchored at Mazari bay to water and provision, but following a change in the wind the fleet departed on 5 May, the Superb leaving her cargo of cattle and vegetables etc. on the beach. Having provisioned for 5 months on the 10th rendez-voused on 12th at Cape St.-Vincent with a convoy of troops from England, following which Nelson departed for Madeira and the West Indies.

15 May 1805 arrived Madeira : and Barbadoes 4 Jun with news that the French fleet was in the West Indies : was joined by the Spartiate : 13th arrived Antigua and departed for Europe.

17 Jul 1805 arrived off Cape St.-Vincent and departed for Gibraltar, and having watered etc. proceeded west and north. 15 Aug received news from Adm. Cornwallis off Ushant, before Victory and Superb departed for Spithead, arriving on the 18th, leaving the Canopus as a reinforcement to the Channel fleet.

28 Sep 1805 Canopus, with 4 ships of the line, stationed close off the harbour of Cadiz to watch the joint Franco-Spanish fleet.

2 Oct 1805 detached to Gibraltar for provisions and water.

30 Oct 1805 Canopus, Queen, Spencer, Tigre arrive from Gibraltar and having escorted a convoy up the Mediterranean.

Circa 23 Dec 1805 the squadron under V.-adm Duckworth, having lifted the blockade of Cadiz, was between Madeira / Canary isles, where it was reported a French Squadron had molested one and chased another convoy. The French squadron was sighted on 25 Dec and chased, but after 30 hours was discontinued and the squadron departed for the West Indies.

12 Jan 1806 arrived Barbadoes. 14th departed for St. Christopher to water. 21 Jan joined by the Northumberland and Atlas. 1 Feb Kingfisher joined with intelligence that a French squadron had been seen steering for Santo-Domingo. 3rd was joined by the Epervier off Saint-Thomas. 5th Magicienne joined confirming the intelligence. 6 Feb a French Squadron was sighted leaving Santo-Domingo. the action of Santo-Domingo Roads commenced ; 2 French ships (Impérial and Diomède) run ashore and 3 (Alexandre, Jupiter, Brave) taken ; the wash-up ; the casualties ; more wash-up.

Late Spring 1806 a part of a squadron under R.-adm Sir T Louis ordered to cruise to the west of Belle-Isle, but following news of the dispersion of the French the was stationed off Cadiz.

27 Sep 1806 40-gun French frigate Présidente captured by a squadron under R.-adm. Sir T. Louis, which included the Canopus, Despatch and Blanche.

8 Dec 1806 Canopus, with a squadron under R.-adm. Sir T. Louis, anchored in Valetta harbour, Malta and having taken on water and provisions departed on the 15th for the island of Tenedos, arriving on the 21st. 25th received onboard the Russian ambassador. 27th weighed and stood towards the Dardanelles. Canopus proceeded up Straits and anchored in Azire bay ; on the 28th met the frigate Endymion with the consul, Mr. Arbuthnot, on board. 2 Jan 1807, returned to Azire bay. 4th the Russian ambassador was transferred to the Active. 1 Feb the squadron weighed, and returned to off Tenedos.

11 Feb-3 Mar 1807 With Sir John Duckworth on what some have described as his somewhat less than successful expedition to Constantinople. 14th anchored off Cape Janizary, ships' boats used to rescue men from the burning Ajax. 19th steered for Constantinople. 2 Mar returned to the Mediterranean.

22 Mar 1807 v.-adm Duckworth, with a part of his squadron, joined expedition against the Turks at Alexandria in Egypt, but the Canopus would not appear to have remained long on station before returning to England, Rear-admiral Sir Thomas Louis having died soon after command of the operation was transferred to him by vice-admiral Duckworth.

24 Feb 1808 the squadron under Lord Collingwood departed from Syracuse for Palermo. 2 Mar was joined by V.-adm Thornborough and R.-adm Strachan off the island of Maritimo. 6 Mar received news that the French fleet had been at sea for a month and departed in a 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.

24 Jun 1809 Canopus, Spartiate and Warrior anchored to the northward of the islands of Ischia and Procida, in readiness to make an attack upon them.

23-26 Oct 1809 a part of the Mediterranean fleet off the coast of Catalonia, was sent in chase of a small French squadron from Toulon which resulted in the destruction of the French ships Robuste and Lion.

5 Mar 1810 R.-adm Martin remained in command of the Mediterranean fleet in the Canopus following the departure of Collingwood for England.

Malta circa 10 Sep 1811 departed from Malta for Sicily.

Portsmouth 1 Dec 1811 arrived from the Mediterranean with dispatches ; touched at Gibraltar (16 Nov) and Cadiz (18 Nov) and is now in quarantine at the Motherbank.

Portsmouth 3 Dec 1811 Released from quarantine.

Plymouth 14 Dec 1811 arrived from the Mediterranean, last from Portsmouth.

Plymouth 25 Dec 1811 Went up the harbour to be paid off.

Plymouth 13 Jan 1812 departed for the fleet off Brest.

Plymouth 6 Aug 1830 Inspected - in ordinary.

Devonport 12 Dec 1833 In Hamoaze.

Plymouth 2 Jan 1834 In Hamoaze, fitting out.

Plymouth 6 Mar 1834 Is alongside the hulk.

Plymouth 1 Apr 1834 Is ordered to Portsmouth.

Vourla 22 Jul 1834 arrived from Mytelene, and has since departed to Scalanova and Nauplia.

Off Vourla 21 Aug 1834 arrived from a cruise off Mytelene.

VourIa 27 Sep 1834 With the squadron here.

19 Dec 1834 at Vourla Bay and due to sail shortly for Smyrna.

31 Jan 1835 is reported to be at Malta.

Malta 9 Feb 1835 departed with a squadron for the Vourla, where it arrived circa 15 Feb..

13 Jun 1835 the Revenge was in collision with the Canopus off the island of Delos in the Eastern Mediterranean.

1 Jul 1835 with the Mediterranean squadron, in the Levant, off Cape Sapienza.

Malta 16 Oct 1835 arrived from the Levant.

8 Dec 1835 at Malta.

Malta 7 Mar 1836 in Valetta harbour preparing for the Spring/Summer cruise.

Malta 11 Jun 1836 is reported to have returned to Malta from a cruise on 16 May, and departed on 25th to resume her station with the squadron in the Archipelago.

Corfu 21 Jun 1836 departed for Patras.

Portsmouth 7 Jan 1837 is ordered to Plymouth.

24 May 1842 undocked at Plymouth, following a complete repair.

5 Oct 1842 to be fitted as an "Advanced Ship," at Plymouth, her masts, spars, and rigging, are to be prepared, fitted, ticketed, and housed in the Dockyard, and the ships are to have their bulk heads put up, their anchors, chain cables, and tanks on board, and their armament is to be kept ready in the Gun Wharf.

6 Oct 1842 the Nile is to replace the Canopus as an "Advanced Ship," at Plymouth.

1846 Experimental Squadron Portsmouth, Thursday. April 23 Canopus (on her way from Jamaica).

20 Aug 1846, off the Tagus.

22 Aug 1846, carried out sailing exercises off Lisbon with squadron, including the Hibernia (flag), St Vincent, Queen, Vanguard, Canopus, Rodney, Albion, Rattler, Polyphemus, Raleigh, Constance, Eurydice, and Spartan.

9 Sep 1846, reported to the Admiralty that further sailing trials were carried out by the squadron between Lisbon and Cape St. Vincent.

17 Sep 1846, departed Cadiz with Squadron, the St. Vincent and Queen, being detached to England that evening.

18-19 Sep 1846, further trials carried out by the squadron, including by the steamers, with their floats unshipped.

20 Sep 1846, off Cape Spartel.

14 Sep 1847 Exercises with Sir Charles Napier's Squadron - see steam sloop Stromboli for details.

20 Dec 1848 Devonport

1860 Devonport

1 April 1863 Devonport. Commissioned for Harbour Service and as Receiving Ship, Devonport.

1864 Home Station, Receiving Ship at Devonport. Number of Cases of Disease and Injury.

1870 Receiving Hulk, Devonport