HMS Robust

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Robust, 1764
Type: 3rd rate ; Armament 74
Launched : 1764 ; Disposal date or year : 1817

Early Apr 1793 departed under the command of Captain Hon Geo. Keith Elphinstone, as a part of a squadron for the Mediterranean Fleet, then to be based off Toulon.

27 Aug 1793 Captain Elphinstone supervises landing of troops at Toulon and is made Governor of Fort Lamalgue.

10 April 1795 Rear-admiral John Colpoys, while cruising with a squadron to the westward, gave chase to three French frigates. Colossus, having got within gun-shot of one of them, opened fire, but the frigates, took different courses, two pursued by the Robust and Hannibal ; while the frigate Gloire was chased and taken by the Astræa. The French 36-gun frigate Gentille was captured on the 11th by the Hannibal.

Jun 1795 departed with Commodore Sir J B Warren on the Royalist expedition to Quiberon Bay, but was ordered to join the Channel Fleet, under Lord Bridport. 22 Jun sighted the French fleet to west of Belle-Isle, and finding the French admiral had no wish for a fight, ordered the Fleet in chase and to engage as ships came up. During the chase the former British 74, Alexander was retaken, along with the French 74s Tigre and Formidable (subsequently renamed Belleisle). And so ended the Battle of the Isle de Groix.

20 Sep 1795 Lord Bridport remained with his fleet off the coast protecting the ill-conceived Quiberon Bay expeditions until 20 Sep, when he returned with 2 or 3 ships to Spithead, leaving Rear-admiral Harvey in command.

9 Mar 1797 Robust and Triton arrive on the scene following the capture, by the San Fiorenzo and Nymphe, of the French frigate Résistance and corvette Constance.

23 Sep 1798 departed from Cawsand bay with a squadron to search for French squadron reported to be heading for Ireland, making contact with the observing frigates on 11 Oct.

11-12 Oct 1798 signal for a general chase made by the Commodore. Commodore Warren's action with French squadron, and capture of the Hoche, 74, and frigates: Embuscade, Coquille, Bellone. And taking of the Résolue by the Melampus. See also p. 71->

1 Jan 1799 receiving Ship at Plymouth.

27 Mar 1799 Plymouth, in Hamoaze, fitting for sea.

19 Apr 1799 Plymouth, nearly ready for sea.

25 Apr 1799 Plymouth, went into Cawsand Bay.

2 May 1799 Plymouth, departed to join Lord Bridport

4 Jun 1799 arrived off Basque road.

25 Jul 1799 at Sea, off the Isle of Oleron.

15 Nov 1799 Plymouth, arrived with the Dragon, to refit and be paid wages and prize money.

12 Dec 1799 Plymouth, went up the harbour to refit.

28 Feb 1800 Plymouth, the Robust 74, Russell 74, and Canada 74, were reported ready for sea. They drop down the harbour for Cawsand Bay the moment the wind shifts.

24 Apr 1800 Torbay, departed with the Channel Fleet.

30 Jun 1800 Plymouth, arrived in 48 hours from off Brest, with the Temeraire, and Magnificent, 74.

10 Jul 1800 Plymouth, departed to join the fleet off Brest with supplies of naval stores and provisions for the fleet.

26 Sep 1800 Plymouth, arrived from the Channel Fleet.

2 Dec 1800 Portsmouth, arrived with the St George, Defence, Ramilies, Mars, and Saturn, from the Channel Fleet.

22 Dec 1800 went into dock at Plymouth to refit.

16 Feb 1801 warped down off Government House to wait a change of wind. Very much to the credit of Captain Brown, his Officers, and crew, this ship since being undockcd, has been got ready for sea with a dispatch almost unequalled in this port.

19 Feb 1801 arrived Cawsand Bay.

23 Feb 1801 last Friday at one P.M. departed Cawsand Bay with the Canada to join the fleet.

21 Mar 1801 arrived Plymouth Sound the Danish brig Tree, Haard, master, bound from Barcelona to Guernsey, with brandy, detained by the Impetieux and Robust.

Circa May 1801 precise date not known, but apparently when cruising singly off Port Louis, L'Orient, in the dusk of the evening she fell in with two large ships, which Captain Browne mistook for a line-of-battle ship and a very large frigate. He immediately determined to bear down and attack them, but when within pistol-shot, he discovered them to be a French ship, called L'Argonaut, of 84, guns, and 1000 men, and a Spanish ship of 74 guns, standing towards Port Louis. The Robust had cleared for action, and lay to, to engage them, with her three top-sails to the mast ; but the enemy, passed her within pistol-shot, without attempting to fire, and made sail to L'Orient, not choosing to risk an action even with so inferior a British force.

2 May 1801 arrived Plymouth Sound the Abeona, of Dartmouth, from Lisbon, laden with fruit, taken some time since by a French privateer, and retaken on the 17th ult., by the Robust.

14 Jun 1801 came into Cawsand Bay from the Rochefort squadron, which she left all well the 4th instant.

27 Jun 1801 departed Cawsand Bay to join the fleet with bullocks, the Namur, and Robust, having both been paid wages and prize money yesterday.

6 Jul 1801 letters received at Plymouth from the Namur, and Robust, of 2nd inst. state their joining the Channel fleet, and that the combined fleets were at single anchor, and to that period had not made any movements.

20-22 Jul 1801 ships' boats of the Doris, Beaulieu, Uranie and Robust cut out the French 20-gun ship-corvette Chevrette.

26 Jul 1801 arrived Plymouth Sound the Doris, Captain Brisbane, who set off express for London, with dispatches for the Admiralty ; he brought in with him La Chevrette, French corvette of 24 guns, and 335 men ; cut out from under the batteries of Camaret Point, near Brest, in the most gallant style by the boats of the Robust, Doris, and Uranie, under the command of Lieutenants Losack, Neville, and Burke; the two latter were wounded, (vide Gazette Letters, page 61 ; also page 172). 23 of the badly wounded men in the above action, with Lieut. Burke ; who was dreadfully hurt by a grape shot in the back, were landed at the Royal Hospital Pier, and conveyed to their respective wards, where every comfort was afforded them which this noble institution can furnish ; the 60 wounded Frenchmen were conveyed in boats, with a flag of truce to the outermost ship ; the French lost 92 men killed. This gallant business was effected amidst the fire of several heavy batteries, and in the sight of 30 sail of the line.

26 Sep 1801 came into Cawsand Bay the Glory, and from the Rochefort squadron, the Robust, and the Mars. Left them all well on the 21st instant.

12 Oct 1801 departed Cawsand Bay for the Channel Fleet.

17 Oct 1801 came into Cawsand Bay the Robust, from off Brest.

19 Nov 1801 remained in Torbay the Ville de Paris, Royal Sovereign, Prince of Wales, Neptune, Prince, Royal George, San Joseph, London, Magnificent, Bellerophon, Hercule, Donegal, Robust, Edgar, Belleisle, Courageux, Fisgard, Amelia, Indefatigable, Childers, Atlanta, Nimrod. The Nile cutter departing for Plymouth to be paid off.

28 Dec 1801 remained with the Channel Fleet in Torbay with the Ville de Paris.

6 Jan 1802 a signal was made for the Royal George, San Joseph, and Robust to prepare to weigh and proceed to Plymouth, however the weather came on very bad and prevented them departing. On the 7th they loosed their sails and attempted to sail, but a heavy and disagreeable sea coming in from the South East required that they desist i.e. to get out of Torbay would have meant attempting to sail to the South East, which might have caused damage to the ships, if they could have made any headway?

9 Jan 1802 the wind moderated last night and the Royal George, San Joseph, and Robust departed Torbay, arriving Plymouth Sound, later today to be paid wages and victualled, the wind blowing strongly from the east.

24 Jan 1802 the following ships, are to be victualled and stored for 5 months for Channel service, viz. Magnificent, 74, Capt Gifford ; Irresistible, 74, Capt Bligh ; Audacious, 74, Capt Peard ; Courageux, 74, Capt Southeby ; Robust, 74, Capt H Jervis ; Bellerophon, 74, Captain Loring, and lighters will arrive shortly at Torbay from Plymouth. The Excellent remains in Cawsand Bay and will be victualled and stored before she returns to Torbay.

2 Mar 1802 departed Torbay the Irresistible, Robust, Edgar, Audacious, Magnificent, Excellent, and Bellerophon, on a cruise, but there being little wind the exercise was performed by the various ships' boats towing them out.

Mar 1802 passed by Plymouth, to the westward, with sealed orders, the Edgar, 74, Excellent, 74, Bellerophon, 74, Robust, 74, Magnificent, 74, and Audacious, 74. They lay to becalmed with light winds off the Edystone, but the wind freshening at N.N.W. the squadron soon made sail, and were clear of land about sunset.

10 Jul 1802 came up to Spithead from St. Helen's the following men of war from the West Indies. They left St. Domingo on the 16 June, several large packets of letters were landed from them, and sent off to London. The St. George, 98, Captain Lobb ; Warrior, 74, Captain Tyler ; Resolution, 74, Hon. Capt. Gardner ; Captain, 74, Captain Boyles ; Zealous, 74, Captain Linzee ; and Robust, 74, Captain Jervis.

15 Jul 1802 came into Portsmouth harbour the Zealous, 74, Captain Linzee ; Robust, 74, Captain Jervis ; Saturn, 74, Captain Brisbane ; Acasta, 36, Captain Wood ; La Pique, 36. Captain Young ; and the Determinée, 24, Captain Beaver, to be paid off.

24 Jul 1802 the Robust, Zealous, Saturn, Phoenix, Pique, and Determinée which were paid off at Portsmouth during this last week.

19 Nov 1802 the Defiance, 74, and Robust, 74, are ordered to be repaired for commission at Portsmouth.

1 Oct 1804 at a Coroner's Inquiry, Mr Callaway, on the body of Sarah Doring, who died on board the Robust, hulk, Receiving Ship, at Portsmouth : cause : a visitation of God.

May 1805 Portsmouth, fitting in Ordinary.