HMS Raposa

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Raposa, 1808
Type: Brig ; Armament 12
Taken : 6 Jan 1806 ; Disposal date or year : 15 Feb 1808
Disposal Details : Destroyed after running aground on a shoal near Carthagena, to prevent capture. Captain James Violett
Notes:

6 Jan 1806 Boats of the Franchise, off the port of Campeachy, take Spanish brig-corvette Raposa.
On the 6th of January, in the evening, the British 12-pounder 36-gun frigate Franchise, Captain Charles Dashwood, having anchored abreast the town of Campeachy, in a quarter less than four fathoms, so shallow was the water upon that coast, at the distance of five leagues offshore, despatched her launch, barge, and pinnace, containing 64 officers and men, under the command of Lieutenant John Fleming, first of the ship, assisted by Lieutenant Peter John Douglas, third of the ship, Lieutenant Mends of the marines, and Messieurs Cuthbert Daly, John Lamb, Charles William Chalmers, and William Hamilton, midshipmen, with orders to scour the bay, and bring off such of the enemy's vessels as they might fall in with. The second lieutenant, Thomas John Peschell, was as anxious as any to be one of the party ; but, requiring his presence on board, Captain Dashwood could not indulge him.

Owing to the distance they had to row, the darkness of the night, and the uncertainty of their position, the boats did not arrive at the spot in which the vessels lay until 4 A.M. On the 7th. Unfortunately for the British, this was long after the moon had risen. Consequently their approach had been discovered, and ample time given to the Spaniards for preparation, even to the tricing-up of the boarding-nettings and the projecting of sweeps from the sides of the vessels, to obstruct the boats in their approach.

Although the alarm had thus spread from one end of the bay to the other, and had even extended itself to the castle on shore, nothing could damp the ardour of the British. They pushed rapidly on, and presently saw approaching them two Spanish brigs of war, an armed schooner, and seven gun-boats ; all of which had slipped their cables, and now opened a heavy fire upon the three boats ; such a fire as would soon have annihilated them, had not Lieutenant Fleming, with as much judgment as intrepidity, dashed forward, and with the launch, laid the nearest brig on board. Being quickly supported by Lieutenant Douglas in the barge, and Mr. Lamb in the pinnace, Lieutenant Fleming, after an obstinate conflict of 10 minutes duration, carried the Spanish brig-corvette Raposa, mounting 12 carriage-guns (pierced for 16), with swivels and cohorns, and having on board 75 men, out of a complement of 90, her captain, Don Joaquin de la Cheva, with some other officers and a boat's crew, being absent on shore.

This exploit was achieved with a loss to the British of only seven men slightly wounded ; whereas the Raposa had one officer and four men killed, and her acting commander and 25 men wounded, many of them mortally ; several of the crew had also leaped overboard and were drowned. The remaining brig, represented to have mounted 20 guns, with a crew of 180 men, the schooner eight guns, and the seven gun-boats, two each, now opened a fire of cannon and musketry upon the Raposa ; but the latter and the boats so smartly returned the fire, that the flotilla soon retired to their former position, and left Lieutenant Fleming in quiet possession of his prize.