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Type: Brig - Sloop ; Armament 12
Launched : 11 Apr 1846 ; Disposal date or year : 1868
BM: 459 tons
Jan, 1846, Contest, 12, brig, Mr. White, ready for launching, at Cowes.
1846 See note below re difficulty in getting officers for service in W Africa
1 Nov 1846 Slaving off Sierra Leone - see article below.
30 Jul 1847 detained the slave schooner Esperanca, with 220 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone, and sentenced to be condemned. 16 May 1849 the proceeds arising due for payment.
29 Aug 1847 detained the slave vessel Phenix, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena and sentenced to be condemned. 15 June 1849 the proceeds arising due for payment.
8 Oct 1847 detained the Brazilian slave brig Sappho, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena and sentenced to be condemned. 15 June 1849 the proceeds arising due for payment.
23 Nov 1847 Captured slaver Conceicao, 81 ft. long ; 21 ft. 4 in. broad ; 9 ft. 3 in. deep, which was destroyed at sea by the captor and the case sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and was condemned.
9 Feb 1848 detained a slave brigantine, Name Unknown, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena and sentenced to be condemned.
3 May 1848 detained the slave vessel Teneirario / Temerario, 128 tons, 495 slaves onboard, which was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and subsequently condemned.
14 May 1848 detained the slave vessel Santa Cruz, 100 ft. long, 26 ft. 9. In. brd., 12 ft. 3 in. deep, and was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and subsequently condemned.
5 Jul 1848 detained a slave brig, Name Unknown, 92 ft. long, 23 ft. 8 in. broad, 11 ft. deep, and was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and subsequently condemned.
7 Jul 1848 detained a slave brig, Name Unknown, and was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and subsequently condemned.
9 Jul 1848 detained the slave brig Oceana / Oceana, 143 tons, and was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and subsequently condemned.
Jun-Jul 1848 Off the Slave Coast (Sierra Leone). See the vessel Amphitrite for article from the Morning Chronicle, for 11 Sep 1848.
18 July 1848 detained the slave vessel Felix Sociedade, 75 ft. long, 20 ft. broad, 8½ ft. deep, which was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and condemned.
31 Aug 1848 detained the slave barque, Name Unknown, 103 ft. long, 25 ft. broad, 17 ft. deep, was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and subsequently condemned.
3 Oct 1848 detained the slave vessel, Phoenix, 168 tons, which was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena for adjudication and subsequently condemned.
27 Nov 1849 Tonnage bounty on unnamed slave brigantine payable
5 Apr 1850 detained in Lat. 5° 20' N. Long. 5° 57' E., the slave schooner Name Unknown, supposed Rosina, with 151 slaves on board, master's name not known ; she was condemned on 10 May 1850, by the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone.
4 Apr 1850 Slave and tonnage bounties and proceeds of hull, &c. for Teneirario and tonnage bounty due for Santa Cruz, now payable.
6 Jun 1850 Tonnage bounty due for Conceicao now payable.
19 Jun 1850 Tonnage bounty due for ship captured 5 Jul 1848, slave and tonnage bounties and proceeds of hull, due for ship captured 7 Jul 1848 , and tonnage bounty and proceeds of hull of Oceana, now payable.
19 Sep 1850 Tonnage bounties due for Felix Sociedade and unnamed vessel now payable ; also tonnage bounty and proceeds of vessel and cargo for Phoenix.
3 Apr 1851 At Ningpo.
20 Apr 1851 It is reported at Portsmouth that the vessel was at Shanghai.
30 Aug 1851 East Indies
Jun / Jul 1852 Damaged when being towed by the Sphinx and being repaired 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.
19 May 1847 The Slave Trade.
The following is an extract of a letter dated Sierra Leone, December 15, 1846 :
On the 1st ult., arrived Her Majesty's brig Cygnet, having in tow the Brazilian brigantine Paquete do Rio, of about 70 tons burden, with 647 slaves on board, captured off Sherbro on the 27th October, and brought to this port for adjudication in the Vice Admiralty Court. The following are the authentic particulars relative to this vessel :-
About the middle of last August the Paquete do Rio arrived at Sierra Leone with a cargo consisting of merchandise and rum, and having on board as passenger Mr S. P M. Campos, His Imperial Brazilian Majesty's Vice Consul at this port. After remaining a short period in this harbour, she departed to Yawry Bay; a short distance to the southward where the timber is collected, and there landed her spirits (it being out. of the jurisdiction of this colony.) After this proceeding, the Paquete do Rio again returned to Sierra Leone, whence she subsequently (on the 6th of October) departed for the southward and Rio, in ballast, and water and provisions for her passengers, twenty in number, consisting of some of the crews of former slavers. Before her departure however, she underwent a careful overhauling by an officer from the [HMS] Wanderer, but nothing could be found on board to expose her real intentions. In beating down to the southward she subsequently made acquaintance with Lieutenant __________, who boarded her, from Her Majesty's sloop Contest, on the 24th of October, off Sherbro, but even Lieutenant ________'s lynx eyes saw nothing whereby he could detain the vessel. [Lieutenant _________ , was formerly in Her Majesty's brig Lynx, and has had some experience in these matters] ; though, no doubt, from his experience, he soon guessed her in-tention. The slaver, having got safely over this last encounter, ran in for the shore, and on the evening of the 26th, or rather from the 24th to the 26th of October she shipped the whole of her equipment, water-casks, &c., with 556 slaves ! and immediately bore up for the northward, thinking I presume, to escape the Contest. In this she was successful (had she gone southward, it would not have been the case), but unluckily, Her Majesty's brig Cygnet hove in sight ; and gave chase, and, while the slaver made all sail to escape capture, a French brig of war was observed in the distance to the northward, but her Majesty's brig Cygnet was not long in coming up, and ere long the famous Paquete do Rio was a prize, and the. glad shouts of 549 human beings "were echoed o'er the briny deep," invoking blessings on. their deliverers. Many of these poor wretches were chained by iron rods passed through iron rings fastened round their necks.
Together with the slaves, numbering 549, were the passengers and crew, about 30, making in all about 579 human beings packed in a small vessel of only 70 tons. I shall dispense with giving a more detailed description of the horrible sight which presented itself, and merely state that the Cygnet arrived in Sierra Leone on the 1st November, towing the prize, which was subsequently adjudicated in the Vice-Admiralty Court .-London paper.