HMS Cleopatra

Naval Database

| Previous Page | Next Page | Index

Cleopatra, 1835
Type: 6th rate ; Armament 26
Launched at Pembroke : 28 Apr 1835 ; Disposal date or year : 1862
BM: 918 tons
Complement : 152 officers and men ; 33 boys ; 25 marines

6 Oct 1832 is ordered to be built at the Pembroke Yard.

15 Oct 1835 departed St Petersburgh for England having been on shore. She arrived at Flamborough Head on the 25th and the following day, in a gale, was in collision with the dismasted brig Fisher, to which she was attempting to give assistance, which sank with the apparent loss of 6 lives. She is now in dock at Sheerness.

26 Oct 1835 Off Flamboro' Head in a gale. Reports unable to save the crew of the vessel Fisher which sank due to the bad weather

28 Nov 1835 arrived at Spithead Wednesday, from Sheerness, and is expected to sail in the next day or so for South America, having taken on boys and marines as supernumeraries for other vessels on that station.

5 Dec 1835 departed from Spithead Monday for Rio de Janeiro, passing Plymouth on the 1st.

20 Jan 1836 at Rio de Janeiro.

2 Mar 1836 departed Rio de Janeiro for St Catherine.

10 Apr 1838, the Starling departed the company of the Sulphur for Guayaquil to pick up an officer and to Puna to pick up supplies left by the Cleopatra, and from thence to Callao.

11 May 1839 arrived at Halifax.

23 Nov 1839 was reported to be at Bermuda and to be departing shortly for the West Indies..

3 Jan 1840 detained the Portuguese slave schooner Louisa, with 283 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Jamaica and was condemned for being engaged in the Slave Trade on 28 Feb 1940.
When cruising off Ocoa Bay, in the Island of Cuba a small schooner was observed to which the Cleopatra gave chase ; the Cleopatra then raised her colours and fired a shot with the purpose of inducing the schooner to raise her colours, which she failed to do, and that at about 10.00 a.m., it being calm, the schooner was observed making for the land, and the Cleopatra lowered her boats under the command of the First Lieutenant, Alexander Fordyce. When approaching the schooner two boats were seen leaving her, taking her officers and crew. On arriving on board 3 passengers were discovered, in addition to 283 slaves, and a prize crew was put on board immediately and ordered to depart for Port Royal, Jamaica, where she arrived on the 6 Jan 1840. It was subsequently discovered that when taken she had small-pox on board and was placed in quarantine when brought to Port Royal.
A Spanish passenger on board, Antonio Mulina, declared that he had joined the vessel in Bissao, where the slaves were embarked, a Portuguese settlement on the coast of Africa, bound for Saint Jago de Cuba, and that he had no interest in the vessel or the slaves. A second passenger, a Frenchman, Edourd de la Bourgonnier, who stated that the whole of the crew, except the master, were black Portuguese, and from the papers that the master took ashore he was sure she was Portuguese, and had noted that the vessel was supposedly initially bound for the Cape Verde Islands, whereas he was bound to Cuba, like Mr Mulina, and had no interest in the vessel or slaves. Source P. 19 FO 84-439 Admy Letters 1842 May-June, per National Archives for free. 19 June 1844 the proceeds arising due for payment.

23 Feb 1840 boarded and inspected the papers of the Spanish vessel Iberia, following which there was an exchange of letters between the 2 governments.

2 Jun 1840 Jamaica departed for Bermuda;

6 Oct 1840 arrived at Newfoundland, from Quebec.

26 Oct 1840 at Bermuda.

5 Dec 1840 Commander W. W. P. Johnson (of the Winchester), promoted to be Acting Captain of the Crocodile, vice Alexander Milne, to the Cleopatra.

26 Dec 1840 Clerk Henry Hope Chimmo of the Cleopatra : promoted to the rank of purser.

16 Dec 1840 at Barbadoes, having been cruising off Porto Rico. arrived at St. Thomas's on the 26th and resumed her cruise on the 29th.

27 Jan 1841 detained in lat. 18° 5' N. long. 64° 40' W., off St. Thomas's, whilst bound from Rio Pongo to Porto Rico, the Spanish slave schooner Segunda Rosario, F. Peyrano, master, with 288 slaves on board which was sent for adjudication to Mixed the British and Spanish Court at the Havana and on 18 Feb 1841 sentenced to be condemned. See also p. 306 at

15 Feb 1841 at Barbadoes.

3 Mar 1841 Jamaica, departed on a cruise.

3 Apr 1841 Second Master ----- Raines (late Winchester), appointed to Cleopatra, (vice James Fowler to Winchester), and promoted to the rank of master. Captain C. Wyvill, to Cleopatra; A. Milne, appointed to Crocodile (late Cleopatra). Master James Fowler, appointed to Winchester (late Cleopatra), vice Robinson. appointed to Columbia.

10 Apr 1841 arrived at Halifax and departed again on the 17th, in company with the Racer, 16, on a cruise.

22 Jul 1841 arrived St John's, Newfoundland.

18 Sep 1841 Surgeon Mr. T. Kittle, appointed to the Cleopatra

18 Oct 1841 was at Halifax on the departure of the Seringapatam for England.

25-27 Nov 1841 remained at Barbadoes when the packets Megaera and Petrel departed for Plymouth.

26 Nov 1841 at Barbadoes, when the Megaera departed for England.

27 Nov 1841 was at Barbadoes when the packet Petrel called..

3 Dec 1841 was due to depart from the Barbadoes with the Sappho to survey the careenage and anchorage at Grenada, preparatory to the reception of the Mail Steam Packets.

1 Jan 1842 was reported to be at Barbadoes, by the packet Alert.

4 Feb 1842 reported to be at Barbadoes, with the Sappho, per the Winchester, departed Bermuda 4th inst.

Circa 14 Feb 1842 at Barbadoes when the troop ship Atholl departed for Portsmouth.

8 Apr 1842 arrived Portsmouth from Barbadoes (9 Mar), and departed Spithead later in the day for Chatham to be paid off.

20 Apr 1842 paid off at Sheerness, and was subsequently re-commissioned. £4 11s. 2d. was raised for collection was made for the Dreadnought Hospital Ship, based in the R. Thames nr. Greenwich.

7 May 1842 when commissioned at Sheerness her complement has been set at 240.

25 Jun 1842 is reported to be commissioning at Chatham for service on the China station and will go via Mauritius where she will disembark an important passenger, and is expected at Portsmouth in the near future.

2 Jul 1842 is reported to be due soon at Spithead, from the eastward, to be paid advance of wages before departing for foreign waters.

15 Jul 1842 arrived Spithead from Sheerness, where she will prepare for her passage to the East Indies.

23 Jul 1842 Lt Gen Sir W. Gomm arrived on board with his family and suite and will depart Monday for Mauritius, the Cleopatra probably remaining on the Cape station when she arrives, perhaps relieving the Andromache.

1 Aug 1842 detained a slave brig, Name Unknown, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at British Guiana, and on 12 Jan 1844 sentenced to be condemned.

3 Aug 1842 arrived Madeira, en route for China.

6 Sep 1842 arrived Rio de Janeiro with Sir Wm. Gomm and suite.

14 Sep 1842 departed Rio for the Cape of Good Hope.

17 Oct 1842 arrived at the Cape, from England.

9 Dec 1842 departed Mauritius for the Mozambique Channel.

21 Dec 1842 anchored off St. George's Isle, town of Mozambique, but the Governor being away departed to call again another day.

28 Dec 1842 arrived at St. Augustine's Bay, near the south end of Madagascar.

2 Jan 1843 departed for Algoa Bay, for Port Elizabeth, for water and provisions, arriving on 10th inst. Once the provisioning of the ship was completed departed for Quillimane, arriving some distance from the town (3 Feb), in an attempt not to frighten off the shortly expected slavers, communications with the town being made by the ship's boats.

21 Feb 1843 departed from an anchorage some miles from Quillimane for St. Augustine's Bay to look for water.

6 Mar 1843, departed for Natal, arriving 12th inst.

23 Mar 1843, arrived some distance off the bar at Quillimane, the ship's boats being deployed to gain intelligence of slave trading etc., a sighting of a suspicious vessel by one of the ship's boats being sufficient for the subsequent detention of the Progresso.

12 Apr 1843 having embarked her cargo of slaves at Quizingo, and following a chase of 7 hours detained in lat. 17° 20' S., long. 38° 30' E., in the Mozambique Channel, the slave brigantine Progresso, with 444 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication by the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope and on 1 Aug 1843 sentenced to be condemned.

5 May 1843, arrived Simon's Bay, departing for Natal with Commissioner Cloete on 26th inst., having stored and refitted. Took on board a number of bullocks, but when the time came to depart the rough water on the bar delayed the ship for 3 days.

15 Jun 1843, arrived off Quillimane, in company with the Lily.

19 Jun 1843, a slave vessel was reported to be expected on the coast and slaves being moved south, the the ship's boats were stored and prepared for detachment from the ship.

11 Jul 1843 detained the slave vessel Defensivo, Paulo Roderigue, master, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope, and on 29 Sep 1843 sentenced to be condemned.

Late Aug 1843, departed Quillimane for St. Augustine's Bay to look for water and bullocks.

11 Sep 1843, departed Quillimane, and the company of the Lily for Mozambique, arriving on the 14th.

19 Sep 1843, departed Mozambique for Zanzibar, with the Governor-General of Mozambique, arriving on the 25th inst.

30 Sep 1843, departed to lie off Zanzibar, and on the 6th for Comoro, not arriving Johanna until 13th inst., having been detained off-shore by contrary winds and tides.

14 Oct 1843, departed for Mayotta, on the 17th running through the Bandeli Passage, before arriving at Mayotta. 19th inst. departed for Johanna, arriving on the 21st.

21 Oct 1843, departed Johanna, for Mozambique, arriving on the 26th inst., and having disembarked the Governor-General, departed the following day for Majunga, arriving on the 30th inst., departing shortly afterwards for Nos Beh, an island off the N.W. end of Madagascar.

19 Nov 1843, arrived Mozambique, departing on the 23rd for Quillimane, where they arrived on the 25th, only to discover that a slave schooner had departed during their absence with 450 slaves on board, under the eye of Governor Fernando, but that another vessel was on the point of leaving, but lacking the necessary intelligence regarding where the vessel was going to embark her slaves departed for the Cape of Good Hope.

29 Nov 1843 "by good fortune," during the afternoon watch, sighted a brig and a brigantine acting suspiciously, and detained both, having been lately deserted, in lat. 18° 51' S., long. 36° 23' E., between Quillimane and Luabo, in the mouth of the Zambesi, a slave brig, Name Unknown, supposed Silveira, and former US vessel Anna, 235 tons, which had been hanging around on the coast for some months ; a slave brigantine, Name Unknown, supposed Atilla or Atala, 152 tons, both being sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope and on 12 Jan 1844 sentenced to be condemned. An eyewitness involved in the capture gives the date as being 30 Nov., but perhaps this is one of those naval things ?

Circa 19 Dec 1843, the two prizes arrived at Simon's Bay.

26 Jan 1844 thankful to depart Simon's Bay for St. Augustine's Bay, a succession of gales having made boat-work most unpleasant, being anchored off-shore the whole period of the refit and re-provision etc.

14 Feb 1844, anchored in St. Augustine's Bay, with a view to restocking provisions, but, on the 16th, with signs of a gale coming on, made good for the offing, but suffered damage in the form of the head and bumpkin being washed away and several ports were stove in.

24 Feb 1844, arrived off Quillimane, and despatched the ship's boats to gather intelligence regarding the slave trade etc.

10 Mar 1844, the Bittern arrived, and they remained in company for a couple of days, before she departed for St. Augustine's Bay.

21 Mar 1844, just before dark land was sighted from the mast-head, but the Captain wishing to remain on the course a little longer, it wasn't until 10 o'clock that a change of course was considered, the lead being used regularly, when the sound of the keel grating along the bottom was heard and felt, and then the ship was fully aground, and over the next few days various unsuccessful attempts were made to get her off. During the day that she was finally released back into her natural environment one of the ship's boats was attacked by the natives, killing two of the crew, and mortally wounding Lieut. Molesworth and 5 men, three others being severely / dangerously wounded and 3 apparently unscathed. Various reasons for the attack were put forward, but the natives having moved swiftly off along the coast they were never to know.

25 Mar 1844, anchored in St. Augustine's Bay, and watered etc., before departing for Simon's Bay.

14 Apr 1844, arrived at Simon's Bay.

21 Apr 1844, departed Simon's Bay, but seeing the Flag Ship back here, anchored in company, departing on the 23rd with a harbour boat to assist recovery of cannon thrown overboard when they went aground.

12 May 1844, arrived off Quillimane, where the ship's boats were despatched to search for and obtain intelligence on the slave trade.

4 Jul 1844, the ship's galley was sent to detain a slave vessel sighted the previous day, but whose crew, bar five, had deserted her. She had no papers or colours, but she was understood to be the slave brig Mars, and evidence found on board suggested that she was formerly known as the Zacette de Marco, and being fitted out and equipped for the slave trade which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope and on 28 Sep 1844 sentenced to be condemned. 28 Jul 1847 the proceeds arising due for payment.

5 Jul 1844 detained the slave barque Isabel, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope and on 02 Oct 1844 sentenced to be condemned, her papers being false. 28 Jul 1847 the proceeds arising due for payment.

18 Jul 1844, departed Quillimane for the "Murderer's Reefs," ie where the ship grounded and her crew were attached, and on the 29th commenced a search for the place where the guns were thrown overboard, and within a few days had recovered one of the 8 inch guns, but the weather deteriorating the search was called off until it improved. The sea condition on the 8th made a continuation of the search practical, and the second 8 inch gun was soon onboard and just as it was getting dark, after a number of failed attempts, one of the 32 pounders was raised.

9 Aug 1844, departed for St. Augustine's Bay, arriving the following day, remaining for 3 days whilst water and fresh provisions were embarked, before departed for Simon's Bay, where they arrived on the 24th inst., where the Cornwallis, Winchester, Isis, Conway, and Thunderbolt were at anchor, to learn that the prize Isabel, had been wrecked in Algoa Bay, her crew rejoining on 13 Sep, and on 16 Sep the prize brig arrived.

20 Oct 1844, anchored off Quillimane, and deployed some of the boats with a view to gathering information on the slave trade ashore, and to check the credentials of any vessels that may come into sight which was capable of use in the slave trade, and to warn the frigate regarding suspicious vessels.

26 Oct 1844, off Quillimane.

8 Nov 1844, ceased cruising with one of the ship's between Luabo and Macuzé, and at 9 o'clock in the evening sent off to board the Domingo Cardoza, all clear.

10 Nov 1844, boarded the Juavo Adelaide. All clear.

11 Nov 1844, spoke with the Bittern, arrived from the Cape.

16 Nov 1844, departed for Majunga, to water, arriving on the 22nd.

27 Nov 1844, departed Majunga for Mozambique, but being defeated by the current, continued to Quillimane, arriving 5 Dec, in time to receive information from an informant that a slave brig was due to anchor off Mariangombe to pick up her human cargo.

13 Dec 1844 observed a slave brig being run ashore, off the River Mariangombe, and a number of boats departing for shore. On the arrival of the ship's boats on board the brig, 2 of the crew remained on board, sick in their bunks, with 420 negroes below, the hatches having been nailed down, and the ship likely to break up by the action of the sea, the hatches were removed and, in view of the numbers, the slaves allowed to make their own way to shore, although 7 were brought on board, with the 2 sick crew members and once empty the vessel was set on fire, as it was not possible to get her off. The slave brig, Name Unknown, of 300 tons, was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope, and on 21 Feb 1845 sentenced to be condemned and the 7 slaves emancipated. 28 Jul 1847 the proceeds arising due for payment.

14 Dec 1844, off Mariangonia.

16 Dec 1844, off Quillimane.

18 Dec 1844, departed for Mozambique.

20 Dec 1844, off Quillimane.

21 Dec 1844, arrived off Mozambique.

25 Dec 1844, departed Mozambique, for Luabo, but in the process, went aground under the fort, the ship being got off the next day.

1-3 Jan 1845, off Suabo.

10 Feb 1845, departed Quillimane, for Majunga, arriving on the 16th inst.

20 Feb 1845, departed Majunga for off the River Mariangombe, arriving on the 26th, where the Bittern was found, and the following day anchored off Quillimane.

4 Mar 1845, departed Quillimane, for a cruise, in company with the Bittern and Helena, who were en route for Mozambique.

16 Mar 1845 detained the slave vessel Paquette de Monte Video, aka Pachetto de Monte Video, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope and on 10 May 1845 sentenced to be condemned, on the grounds of having had a slave cargo on board during a voyage, and not being entitled to the protection of any nation, since, whilst apparently British, she had been sailing under non-descript colours, after much difficulty convincing the court.

24 Aug 1845 proceeding to the coast of East Africa from Simon's Town and attempting to get a feel for the attitudes held by the Kings and governors in the region, particularly with regard to the slave trade, and from Consuls regarding how they see trade etc. progressing.

13 Sep 1845 at Zanzibar.

30 Oct 1845 on the Quillemane Coast.

14 Nov 1845 was joined by the Sappho off the mouth of the Quillemane River where signs of the slave trade are only too evident with tribal chiefs on the various rivers in the region ready to stoke the trade and visiting vessels professing to suggest that they are only passing through en route for Goa, but in reality only carry materials as cargo which can be traded with the locals in this particular region.

15 Nov 1845 departed for Johanna.

14 Jan 1846 arrived at Simon's Bay from Mozambique, being in want of provisions and stores and also caulking. In addition to Mozambique have also paid visits to Zanzibar, Johanna, Mayotta, and Nos-beh. Was able to report that whilst the slave trade appeared to be under control in Mozambique it was expected that there would be an upturn in the trade during the following months, various vessels having been seen on the coast who were preparing the ground for the slaving vessels which would follow shortly, vessels which would be well prepared with a view to deceiving the vessels employed on the anti-slavery patrols.

18 May 1846 whilst patrolling the Angozha River, Mozambique, in the ship's boats, came across a vessel which, on approaching, raised the American colours and was found to be the barque Lucy Penniman, of New York, Matthew Cooper, master, from Rio de Janeiro. Whilst initially happy to leave the Lucy Penniman, since she was flying the American colours, information from the crew suggested that all was not as it appeared and that they had been entrapped into become a part of her crew and that she was intended for the slave trade, and, as they saw the Kentucky, now burning, see next item, they feared for their lives as they expected the 30+ Portuguese crew from that vessel to take over the Lucy Penniman. With a view to obtaining further evidence the Master was landed in the ship's boats in order to contact the Portuguese supercargo, who was said to be ashore. After waiting the agreed 2 hours the ship's boats returned to the shore only to be ambushed by a large number of Arabs and natives, possibly 500-600, who opened a heavy fire with muskets. The boats held their position, about 40 yards off shore, and returned the fire using the boats' guns and muskets, and once the fire from shore had nearly ceased and the Master failed to put in an appearance the boats withdrew to the Lucy Penniman. 4 of the crew were wounded, 1 severely. In the light of the earlier discussion with the mate and crew, and their fears, and what had just taken place, it was decided to take the vessel out of the river and put her under the protection of the Cleopatra. It was estimated that some 2,000-4,000 Arab slave traders and camp followers were occupying an island in the river, which was about 5 miles long and 2 wide. The Lucy Penniman was subsequently sent to Simon's Town where she arrived on about 4 Jul 1846. The remaining crew of the Lucy Penniman were named as follows : Thomas F. Martin (first mate), James Oney (carpenter), James A. Robertson, Andrew McBroom, Louis Cornides, signed, and George Washington Smith made his mark, on a document stating their circumstances.

18 May 1846 still in the Angozha River, in lat. 15° 20' S. long. 39° 58', a ship's boat approached the Brazilian brig Kentucky, fitted for the slave trade, which was set on fire by her crew on the approach of the boats : the slavers then escaped up river. However, it was possible to board the brig for a short period, in order to measure the vessel. The case was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope and on 22 Jul 1846 sentenced to be condemned. 14 Mar 1849 the proceeds arising due for payment.

21 May 1846 detained off the River Angozha, those onboard being in fear of their lives, the slave barque Lucy Penniman, Matthew Cooper, master, being sent down to the Cape to be handed over to the American authorities. She was handed over to Mr. Chase, the US Consul, who had her stripped and dismantled whilst he awaited instructions from the US Government.

27 May 1846 off Mozambique.

12 Jul 1846 detained the slave vessel Constante. 14 March 1849 the proceeds arising due for payment.

12 Nov 1846 Captured slaver Improviso, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope, and sentenced to be condemned. 14 Mar 1849 the proceeds arising due for payment.

12 Nov 1846 detained the slave vessel Improviso 20 Dec 1848 Chatham.

24 Apr 1851 At Hong Kong.

30 Aug 1851 East Indies

Jun 1852 At Hong Kong at the time of the Queen's Birthday, when the usual salutes were fired.

31 Jul 1852 It is reported in a copy of the Straits Times, received at Sydney that, with the Semiramis, this vessel is about to leave for Labuan to join the Pluto and from thence proceed to the coast of Borneo, to discover what has happened to the Dolphin.

12 Nov 1852 at Hong Kong.

5 Apr – 20 Dec 1852, ship's company involved in 2nd Burma War, and annexation of Pegu (now known as Bago, Myanmar), for which they were due prize money for capture of booty.

1860 Chatham