HMS Carlotta

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Carlotta, 1810
Type: Brigantine ; Armament 14
Captured : 1810 ; Disposal date or year : 1815

11 Dec 1810 Belle-Poule captured La Carlotta, Italian brig of war, of 10 guns and 100 men, when bound from Venice to Corfu, when in company with the Montague and Acorn, per London Gazette.

1810 commissioned by Lt James Oliver.

26 Jan 1812 went ashore on Cape Passaro, Spain.

1812 would then appear to have been salvaged, repaired and recommissioned by Lt Richard Fleming.

14 Aug 1812 the Thais, Edward Scobell, Esq. Commander, captured the brig Carlotta, per London Gazette, which in my humble opinion removes this vessel from the equation.

8-9 Apr 1813 a court martial was held on board the Hibernia at Port Mahon for the trial of Midshipman Hugh Stewart Morris, of HM brig Carlotta, for disobedience of orders (for embezzling, or designing to embezzle, the cargo of the St Vittoria, and for attempting to desert. Also Francis Baynson, and Francois Richie, seamen belonging to the Carlotta, for aiding and abetting him therein, and for attempting to desert. It appeared in evidence that the Carlotta detained a settee on the 18th of October last, and the prisoner Morris, was sent on board to take charge of her, with orders to proceed to Malta, in company with the Carlotta. He, however, parted company on the 19th, and went into Port St Vito, from thence to Palermo, where he remained 20 days, and sold a great part of the cargo. The morning after he sailed from Palermo he proposed to the crew to sell the vessel and cargo, and divide the money, and cause the oakum to be picked out of the vessel's bottom, near the fore-hatch, so as to make a leak ; he then anchored between Rochelle and Cefalu, landed the remainder of the cargo, and agreed with a person of the name of Fellipo to sell the wreck and cargo for 373 ounces of gold ; having done which, two more holes were made under the counter, and the vessel run on shore. From Cefalu, Morris and part of the crew (with whom he had divided the money), proceeded to Messina, where they remained some days, and were apprehended by Lt Col Coffin, Deputy Quarter-Master General (as they were on the point of taking a boat to go over to Calabria), and sent the prisoners to Malta. The following is a copy of the sentence:- "The Court having heard the evidence in support of the charges, as well as what the prisoners had to offer in their own defence respectively, and having maturely and deliberately weighed and considered the same, is of the opinion that the charges have been proved against the prisoners Hugh Stewart Morris, midshipman of HM brig Carlotta ; Frs Baynson, and Francois Richie, seamen of the said brig. The Court doth therefore adjudge the following punishments:- That the prisoner Hugh Stewart Morris be mulcted of all pay and prize money that may be due to him in HM service, be imprisoned two years in solitary confinement in such prison as the Lords of the Admiralty shall direct, and he rendered incapable of ever serving his Majesty, his heirs, and their successors, as an officer or petty officer. That the prisoner Francis Baynson, be mulcted of all pay and prize money that may be due to him in HM service, and receive 200 lashes. In consideration of circumstances, the court doth adjudge the prisoner, * Francois Richie, only to be mulcted of all the pay and prize money that me be due to him in HM service, and he be disposed of as a prisoner of war in such manner as the Commander-in-Chief of HM ships and vessels employed in the Mediterranean shall direct. * It appeared by the Carlotta's books that he was a Frenchman, and impressed into the Service.

NB There are suggestions on the net that rather than being salvaged, having gone ashore in Jan 1812, she was replaced by another vessel, ie another prize. However, I'm with Rif Winfield on this one and don't see how that argument stands up against the fact that her Pay Lists ADM 35/3411 which were created during the first commission and before she went aground in Jan 1812 ie on 20 Nov 1811 - 18 Apr 1812, so survived into 1812, which suggests to me that the personnel on board in 1811 were still on board when she went ashore and remained on board into Apr 1812 when under the command of Lt Fleming. An examination of the pay books, along with the pay books for the period 5 Sep 1811 - 31 Dec 1814 will confirm the story if someone has the time. At that date, there was such a shortage of experienced seamen that if the vessel had been lost when she went ashore on Cape Passaro then her surviving crew would have been drafted to the 4 winds and would have made up parts of the crews of all the other ships in the region that were short of men, however, it appears to me that her ship's company was kept together whilst she was being salvaged, repaired and made seaworthy again. At the end of a commission, when a vessel is paid off, or when a vessel is lost and ceases to exist, once the legal niceties of the court martial are completed the ship's company are without a ship, and the men would be put on board the nearest receiving ship pdq, senior officers would have first pick of the experienced men, and so forth, down the list of crew members, until they'd all gone their various ways.