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Type: Brig ; Armament 10
Launched : 3 Jun 1840 ; Disposal date or year : 1856
BM: 319 tons
3 Jun 1840 was launched at Portsmouth. 1 Dec 1840 Portsmouth, the officers and crew of the Pantaloon are to be transferred to the Rapid. 12 Dec 1840 Gunner John Stevens appointed to the Royal George, for the Rapid. 16 Dec 1840 is fitting out at Portsmouth to be attached as a tender to the Royal George yacht, in lieu of the Pantaloon. 16 Jan 1841 Portsmouth, The crew have been paid wages and granted ten days' leave. 24 Apr 1841 Portsmouth, sails to-morrow for the coast of Sussex, to protect the fisheries. 18 May 1841 Portsmouth, departed for off Brighton, to protect the fisheries, but has since returned. 3 Jun 1841 at Hastings. 25 Jun 1841 Portsmouth, arrived from a cruise off Brighton and Hastings, for the protection of the Fishery. 30 Jul 1841 Portsmouth, arrived from off Brighton. 1 Oct 1841 Portsmouth, departed for Liverpool and Bristol, for seamen. 2 Oct 1841 Plymouth, arrived from Portsmouth, with volunteers for the Cambrian and Malabar, and departed again for Liverpool. 13 Oct 1841 Portsmouth, arrived from Liverpool and Bristol with seamen for the ships fitting out. She departed again on Saturday for Waterford. 21 Oct 1841 departed Portsmouth for Cork and Waterford, for newly raised men. 23 Oct 1841 Clerk Mr. E. A. Smith from the Rapid appointed to the Queen. 24 Oct 1841 arrived Cork. 17 Nov 1841 Portsmouth, departed to Cork, for newly-raised men. 5 Dec 1841 arrived Portsmouth, from Cork. 18 Dec 1841 Portsmouth, destined for the coast of Africa ? 18 Dec 1841 Lieutenant E. C. Earle, appointed in command, vice Tryon, promoted. 28 Dec 1841 Portsmouth, is expected to go out to Spithead later this week. Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1842 the Brig Rapid, 10 guns, Complement: 60, was involved in combatting the Slave Trade.
4 Jan 1842 is preparing at Portsmouth for service on the coast of Africa.
22 Jan 1842 it is reported that the Rapid is shortly due to depart for the Cape and Africa Station with dispatches for the Madagascar and boys and supernumeraries for the other vessels on the station.
8 Feb 1842 departed Spithead for the Coast of Africa.
12 Feb 1842 on account of strong westerly gales put into Falmouth, departing same for the West Coast of Africa on the following Monday.
27 Feb 1842 arrived Teneriffe, from Falmouth, having experienced bad gales off Cape Finisterre. On the evening prior to the gale James Reily, of Emsworth, fell from aloft, into the sea, but despite a life buoy and boat being cut adrift for him, he was never seen again.
1 Mar 1842 departed Teneriffe.
3 Mar 1842 at Cape Coast Castle.
5 May 1842 departed Cape Coast Castle to cruise off the R. Nun.
24 Oct 1842 the Quelhe Importa, 77 tons burthen, Juan Antonio Goncalves, master, detained in or about 0° 3' N., long. 8° 4' W., about 3 degrees to the south of Cape Palmas, bound for Porto Seguro, Espiritu Santo, in the Brazils, with 440 slaves, the survivors of the 450 shipped a few days previously at Lagos, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 14 Nov 1842 was sentenced to be condemned.
3 Nov 1843 detained in Lat. 0° 50' S Long. 7° 50' E. near the Island of St. Thomas, the Brazilian slave brig Temerario, Joao Saures, master, with 298 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 2 Dec 1843 sentenced to be condemned.
13 Jan 1844 detained a slave Brigantine, Name Unknown, of 253 tons, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone, and on 21 Aug 1844 sentenced to be condemned.
16 Feb 1844 detained by the ship's boats in Bimbia Creek, during which a black pilot was killed and a member of the crew wounded as a result of the resistance of her crew, the Spanish slave brigantine Carlitos, F. Rebel, master, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 10 Apr 1844 sentenced to be condemned.
4 Apr 1844 detained in Lat. 4° 49' S., Long. 15° 19' W., to the northward of Ascension, following a chase, the Brazilian slave schooner Santa Anna, with 311 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 27 Apr 1844 sentenced to be condemned. An ignorant seaman, Francisco dos Santos, was stated to be her master when she was captured, but Manoel Francisco Alves, shown as a passenger in her manifest, for reasons unknown, was clearly her master, his handwriting appearing in the schooner's log for some months up to the date of the vessel's capture.
8 May 1844 detained a Portuguese slave schooner Name Unknown, with over 300 slaves onboard, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and sentenced to be condemned.
15 Oct 1844, arrived at Princes Island, from Sierra Leone with provisions for the Penelope, the senior officer's ship, and the cruisers in the Bight of Benin ; also brought the returns from the various vessels on the Gallinas station for the Senior Officer to make his observations and pass the reports on to the Admiralty, and other interested parties.
Jun 1845 returned to England.
Circa Jun 1846 is reported to have been recommissioned and to be back on the West Coast of Africa.
14 Jan 1847 detained the Brazilian slave brigantine Constante Amizade, 132 tons, owner, Fernando Antonio Pereira de Lagos, master A G Cardia, which, whilst not having any slaves embarked was fitted out for same, and was therefore was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena and sentenced on 11 Mar 1847 to be condemned.
9 Jul 1847 detained the Esperto. 31 Nov 1949 proceeds arising due for payment.
22 Jul 1847 detained the slave vessel Romeo Primeiro, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone and sentenced to be condemned - 2 May 1849 proceeds arising due for payment - see also p. 366 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow for more detail. 2 Dec 1847 detained the Brazilian slave schooner Maria Augusta, 148 tons, master Lourenco Domingues da Silva, no slaves embarked, but fitted out as a slave vessel, and was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone, and condemned on 24 Dec 1847. 14 May 1851 proceeds arising deposited with the High Court of the Admiralty.
6 Mar 1848 standing into the land, near Cape Mensurada, at about seven in the morning, a schooner appeared in sight, and from her endeavours to escape, left no doubt of the illegality of her trade. Between the land and sea breeze, which set in about eleven, it was nearly a calm, with light variable airs. The chase took advantage of this to lighten, and casks, boats, planks, everything that could be, was thrown over-board ; after eleven, the run was very exciting, and the schooner making for the land : presently, she took in her studding sails, and hauled to the wind. In shore, lay at anchor a man-of-war, and in the course of a short time the chase was joined by H.M.S. Rapid, and her yawl, making now four in all. Finding the Bonetta too close on her, the schooner again bore away, and by sunset (the Rapid, a long way astern), we were both under all sail, running before the wind. She appeared almost in our grasp, when a tornado took all aback ; every rope being manned, our sail came in, and running off the land, we lost sight of our chase before eight o'clock.
At half-past nine, when all but the watch were in bed, a most severe shock was felt by all ; one of the watch without orders to do so, sprang to the lead, and in answer to the question, why he did so, declared, as did the whole watch, that the ship was on shore. Some below were completely thrown out of their beds; no bottom was found, and the ship was, at least, fifteen miles from land.
It might have been the shock of an earthquake.
Could it have been the sinking hull of the lightened schooner? with thanks to the book Six Months Service in the African Blockade, by Lt. Fred. E. Forbes
Jun-Jul 1848 Off the Slave Coast (Sierra Leone). See the vessel Amphitrite for article from the Morning Chronicle, for 11 Sep 1848.
6 Nov 1848 detained the Brazilian slave schooner Diligencia / Diligência, which was sent to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone and was condemned, date unknown.
20 Dec 1848 Coast of Africa.
Jun / Jul 1852 Expected Hong Kong