HMS Hermione

Naval Database

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Hermione, 1782
Type: 5th rate ; Armament 32
Launched : 1782 ; Disposal date or year : 1805
BM: 717 tons
Notes:

Portsmouth 19 Sep 1785 departed on a cruise to the Eastward.

Deal 20 Sep 1785 departed by for Chatham.

9 Sep 1793 the Europa, Commodore Ford, and some of the smaller vessels on the Jamaica station, took on board British troops at Port-Royal, which arrived off Jérémie, St.-Domingo 19 Sep to receive a welcome from the local population. Commodore Ford despatched the Penelope, Captain Rowley, with the Iphigenia and Hermoine, 32-gun frigates, to the Bay des Flamands, near St.-Louis, on the south side of the island of St.-Domingo, with orders to capture or destroy some French merchant vessels lying there. Captain Rowley succeeded in bringing away ten, the chief of them laden with colonial produce.

3 Jun 1794, the frigates Hermione, Captain John Hills, and Iphigenia, cannonade post at Bernadon, to divert attention away from army operations elsewhere.

22 Mar 1797 boats crews capture and destroy a number of vessels off Porto-Rico.

20-21 Apr 1797 operation mounted to cut out a number of merchant vessel prizes being held at Jean-Rabel.

Sep 1797 the Diligence, Renommée and Hermione captured a Spanish privateer, name unknown, Spanish packet, 6 guns, on the Jamaica station.

22 Sep 1797 Crew mutinied : murdered Captain Pigot and many of the officers. They then handed the vessel over to the Spanish authorities at La Guayra, on the Spanish Main. The vessel was taken into the Spanish Navy and renamed the Sta. Cecilia.

25 Oct 1799 Boats crews of the Surprise, Captain Edward Hamilton, entered the harbour of Puerto Cabello and re-captured the Sta Cecilia (late Hermione). She was initially restored to her original name, but was subsequently renamed Retaliation by Adm. Sir Hyde Parker, and renamed again as Retribution, on her return to England.

2 Jul 1800 Portsmouth, a Court Martial was held on board the Gladiator, for the trial of John Duncan, late a seaman belonging to HM late ship Hermione, for having murdered the Officers of the said ship, or being aiding and assisting therein ; and for having aided and assisted in carrying the said ship to La Guira, and delivering her up to the enemy. The Court were of opinion, that the charges had been proved against the said John Duncan, and did adjudge him to suffer death, by being hanged by the neck on board such ship of his Majesty and at such time and place, as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty should direct. On the 10th he was executed on board the Puissant, agreeably to the sentence of the Court. About a quarter of an hour before he was turned off. he addressed the ship's company, and said how justly he was condemned for being concerned in one of the worst of crimes, and warned them from ever being concerned in such an act of atrocity.

31 Jul 1800 Portsmouth, a Court Martial was held on board the Gladiator, for the trial of John Watson and James Allen, two seamen late belonging to the Hermione, for being concerned in the mutiny on board the said ship, and in carrying her into La Guira. The charges being proved against the prisoners, they were sentenced to suffer death, by being hanged by the neck, on board such ship or ships as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty should direct. The prisoner, John Watson, appeared to be nearly 60 years of age, and, previous to the mutiny, had pretended to be afflicted by blindness, on which account he had been excused doing duty aloft ; but he took a very active part in the mutiny. The prisoner, James Allen, had been servant to the second Lieutenant previous to the mutiny, and was then about 14 years of age ; but, it appeared, he had also been very active in the mutiny, and had even assisted in the murder of his own master. The principal witness against Allen was Parrot, late butcher on board the Hermione, who deposed, that on the night the mutiny took place he was seated on a chest in the gun-room. He then observed a band of murderers dragging the second Lieutenant across the deck, who repeatedly stretched out his hand, crying, "Mercy! Mercy!" He was drawn up the ladder by the hair of his head, after receiving many wounds. Parrot declared that at this moment he saw the second Lieutenant's servant, James Allen, with a tomahawk or hatchet in his hand, and that he exclaimed, "let me have a cut at him;" on saying which he dreadfully wounded his own master. On receiving this deposition from Parrot, a general groan of horror was heard in Court. Every thing, however, that naval justice could devise was exercised on behalf of the prisoner; but the very witnesses called by him ultimately proved of disadvantage to himself ! Both Allen and Watson came home to England in the Prince of Wales, but were not recognized till their arrival. Allen, to the last, denied having struck his master. As to the particulars of the murder of Captain Pigot, of the Hermione, it appeared, that hearing a noise upon deck, he immediately ran out of his cabin, when being badly and repeatedly wounded, he was at length obliged to return. He had reached his cabin, and was sitting on a couch, faint with the loss of blood, when four men entered with bayonets fixed. Crawley headed them. Captain PIGOT, weak as he was, held out his dirk, and kept them off. They seemed for a moment appalled at the sight of their Commander, when Crawley exclaimed, "What, four against one, and yet afraid ? Here goes then," and buried his bayonet in the body of Captain Pigot. He was followed by the others, who, with their bayonets, thrust him through the port, and be was heard to speak as he went a-stern."

7 Aug 1800 Portsmouth, at nine o'clock, a gun was fired on board the Royal William, at Spithead, and the yellow flag hoisted as a signal for executing J. Watson and and J. Allen, who were condemned by a Court Martial as being concerned in the mutiny on hoard the Hermione. The signal being repeated, the yellow flag was hoisted on board the Puissant at Spithtad, and the Braakel in the harbour, on board which ships they were executed, boats from all the ships at Spithead, manned and armed with marines, attended the Puissant as those in the Harbour did the Braakel.

24 Sep 1800 Plymouth, by letters from Jamaica it is reported that several of the mutineers of the Hermione, have been tried, executed, and to operate as a terrible example, their remains had been suspended in chains from gibbets, erected on the Coral Keys or Rocks, lying off Port Royal harbour.

4 Jul 1801 2 crew members of the Hermione, not named, were court martialled at Portsmouth and condemned to suffer death.

9 Jul 1801 was committed to Newgate, to take his trial at the Admiralty Sessions, John Carrinded, Seaman, for being found in arms in L'Actif, French privateer, of 16 guns. He also stands charged with being concerned in the piracy and murder of the officers of the Hermione, of 44 guns.

26 Aug 1801 a Court Martial was held on board the Gladiator, in Portsmouth harbour, on John Pearce, late belonging to the Hermione, was also tried, on a charge of having aided in the murder of the Officers on, board the said ship, and carrying her into La Guira. The charge being fully proved, the Court adjudged that he should suffer Death. 31 Aug 1801 The above unhappy man was executed on board the Puissant, at Spithead, pursuant to his sentence. He behaved with great penitence and resignation.

11 Feb 1802 arrived Sheerness, from Portsmouth, last from the Downs and departed later for the River Thames, the Phaeton, Cleopatra, Heroine and Volage, to be paid off.

13 Feb 1802 a Court Martial was held on board the Gladiator, in Portsmouth harbour, to try William Miller, alias Bower, for murdering the Officers of his Majesty's ship Hermione, or being aiding and assisting therein, and for having aided and assisted in carrying the said ship to La Guira, and delivering her up to the enemy. The Court agreed that the latter charge had been fully proved against the Prisoner, and did adjudge him to be hanged. He has been since executed.

23 Mar 1802 the principal ring-leader of the mutiny on board the Hermione was detained in a public house in Point St, Portsmouth, this afternoon.

29 Mar 1802 arrived Spithead from Plymouth, Renard, with a view to Lieut Southgate attending the Court Martial of David Forrester, alias Williams, one of the mutineers from the Hermione, detained a few days ago, Lieut Southgate having been on board that vessel at the time of the mutiny.

30 Mar 1802 a Court Martial was held on board the Gladiator, in Portsmouth harbour, to try Thomas Williams, alias David Forrester, late belonging to his Majesty's ship Hermione, for having murdered the Officers of that ship, or been aiding and assisting therein, and for carrying the said ship to La Guiru, and delivering her up to the enemy. The charges being read, the witnesses, except Lieutenant Southcott, were ordered out of Court, when he was sworn, and asked by the President. Having nothing else to offer in his behalf, the Court was cleared, and in less than an hour it was re-opened, when the following sentence was pronounced, that:- The Court was of opinion the charges had been proved against the said David Forrester, and did adjudge him to suffer Death, by being hanged by the neck on board such ship of his Majesty at Spithead, or in Portsmouth Harbour, and at such time as the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or any three of them, for the time being, should direct. He was accordingly executed the 1st of April, on board the Gladiator. See Vol 7 of Naval Chronicle for more detail.

1 Apr 1802 Thomas Williams, alias David Forrester, late belonging to his Majesty's ship Hermione hung.

3 Apr 1803 another of the mutineers from the Hermione has been discovered amongst a recent batch of pressed men on board a frigate in Hamoaze. Once his identity has been confirmed a court martial will be held on board the Flag Ship at Plymouth.