HMS Ruby

Naval Database

| Previous Page | Next Page | Index

Ruby, 1776
Type: 3rd rate ; Armament 64
Launched : 1776 ; Disposal date or year : 1821
BM : 1370 tons

4 June 1794, Rear-admiral Montagu, Captain Sir Richard Bickerton, departed from Plymouth Sound with nine sail of the line and two frigates, to attempt to join Lord Howe and intercept a large French convoy from America. On the 8th, discovered and chased a French squadron, including 8 ships of the line, under the command of Rear-admiral Cornice, into bay of Bertheaume, and so stood back out to sea.

9 June 1794, sighted the French fleet of 19 sail of the line, returning from their recent meeting with the British fleet, which formed line-of-battle and briefly chased the squadron. With a squadron of equivalent rating on his other flank, Rear-admiral Montagu withdrew as quickly as the poor sailing qualities of the Ganges and Alexander would permit. Continued his search for a further 2 days, but failing in this, returned to Cawsand bay, Plymouth, on 12 June.

17 Aug 1796 Simon's bay, Cape of Good Hope. Was present at the capitulation of the Dutch squadron, greatly out-gunned by a much larger British squadron.

1 Jan 1799 at Chatham.

20 Sep 1799 Plymouth, arrived in Cawsand Bay from off Brest.

1 Oct 1799 Plymouth, departed on a cruise.

7 Dec 1799 Plymouth, arrived, from the Channel Fleet, with the Neptune, and Russell, and Joseph and Swan cutters, and Plymouth, lugger.

17 Feb 1800 Plymouth, orders came down from the Admiralty for the Ruby, 64, Capt. Ferris (victualled for six months) to proceed in 24 hours for the Cape of Good Hope.

19 Feb 1800 Plymouth, departed for the Cape of Good Hope with sealed orders, not to be opened till she gets 30 leagues west of Scilly.

6 Mar 1800 Plymouth, came in the Belle Anne brig, of Jersey, from Virginia bound to London, taken the 14th ult. by the General Massena French privateer, of 22 guns, and recaptured about 120 leagues west of Scilly, by the Ruby, on her passage to the Cape of Good Hope.

4 Apr 1800 with the Ruby and Magnanime, the 3 French frigates reported to be at anchor under the forts of Goree, had left the island, so summoned the island to surrender to me, which was accepted and landed the marines of the squadron and took possession of the garrison.

13 Apr 1800 sent Mr. Palmer with two boats and thirty men to Jool (a factory dependant on Goree); he returned on the 22d, having executed his orders, and bringing with him a French brigantine and sloop loaded with rice.

3 Jul 1800 Portsmouth, arrived the Melpomene, from the coast of Guinea, with the account of his having taken Goree, in company with the Magnanime and Ruby.

30 Jul 1800 Copy of a Letter from Capt. Ferris, of bis Majesty's Ship Ruby, to Evan Nepean, Esq.
off the Start. I beg leave to acquaint you for the information of their Lordships, that being on my passage from St. Helena to England, at five A. M. on Sunday the 13th inst. in lat. 45 deg. N. and long. 29 W. I observed a strange sail to windward, which, by her motions, appeared to be an enemy's cruiser ; I therefore thought it right to make all possible sail to reconnoitre her. Night coming on before I could well discover what she was, I shortened sail for the convoy ; and at day-light, in the morning of the 14th (it having been calm during the greatest part of the night) I saw the same ship about three miles a-head, who, upon my making sail in chase, and firing several shot, showed national colours. Light winds having prevailed during the whole of the day, she was enabled by her sweeps, to keep just without gun-shot ; but towards evening a breeze springing up in our favour, I gained on her fast, and at one A. M. on Tuesday the 15th, took possession of her. She proves to be La Fortune privateer, of Bourdeaux, a very fine ship, mounting 16 eight pounders, four long twelves, and two thirty-six pound carronades, all brass ; her complement 202 men ; but had on board, when taken, only 188, the rest having been sent on board the Fame brig from Sierra Leone, bound to London, the only capture she had made in a cruise of one month from Bourdeaux. I beg leave to add, that she appears to me to be a ship well calculated for HM service, being remarkably strong built, coppered, and copper-fastened, and a very excellent sailer : the present is only the second cruise since she was built. I am, &c. Sol. Ferris."

4 Aug 1800 Plymouth, the Spitfire spoke in the Channel, the Ruby, 64, with 3 East Indiamen under convoy from Bengal ; last from the Cape of Good Hope. She had captured on her passage, La Fortunie French privateer, 16 guns, and 160 men, of Bourdeaux.

30 Dec 1800 remained Deal.

8 Feb 1801 remains in the Downs.

31 Mar 1801 Sheerness : a court martial was held on board the Ruby on the surviving officers and men of the Invincible for her loss. After all the evidences were examined, and after a very short deliberation, Rear-admiral Totty, the surviving Officers and crew were acquitted. By every thing that appeared, the steady cool subordination that prevailed, from her first striking until the fatal moment that she went down, bespoke her high state of discipline, and makes us the more deplore the loss of an Officer like Captain Rennie, who could, out of a raw ship's company, produce such order and regularity to the last. The feeling that Admiral Totty and the survivors shewed during the whole proceedings was extremely creditable to themselves. When the Admiral spoke of his Captain, it was with such feeling and emotion that he could with difficulty support himself.

5 Apr 1801 a Court Martial was held yesterday on board the Ruby at Sheerness, to try Mr. Thomas Scott, Boatswain of the Prince Edward receiving ship at Chatham, for striking the centinel when on duty, and for mutinous behaviour to Lt Graves, commanding officer of the Lion, (which ship's crew were then on board the Prince Edward) ; when the charges being proved in part, the court rendered him incapable of ever again serving as an officer in HM Navy, and to serve before the mast in such of HM ships as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty shall direct.

6 Apr 1801 Captain Sir Edward Berry apptd to command the Ruby.

12 Apr 1801 Ruby departed Sheerness this morning, for the Great Nore, where her ship's company will be paid, following which she will depart for N. Yarmouth.

21 Apr 1801 departed N. Yarmouth this morning a squadron for the Baltic under the command of Adm. Totty in the Zealous, with the Powerful, Vengeance, 74s ; Ruby, 64 ; Alkmaar, Hospital Ship ; Pomone, frigate ; Vesuve, Wrangler, Ready, Safeguard, Pincher, Eclipse, Boxer, Plumper, Griper, Adder and Cracker gun vessels ; Drake, cutter ; Prince William, hired armed ship.

19 Jul 1801 arrived N. Yarmouth with the Baltic fleet under the command of Adm Graves, consisting of the Defiance, flag ship ; Veteran, Polyphemus, and Ruby, 74s ; Otter, brig ; Latona, and Jamaica, frigates ; Vesuve, Bruiser, Cracker, Hasty, Teazer and Pincher, gun-brigs ; Alecto, fire-ship ; Sulphur, and Explosion, Bomb ; Speedwell, and Queen, tenders.

20 Jul 1801 The fleet under the command of R.-Adm. Sir Thomas Graves, which arrived yesterday evening from the Baltic, differs from that that departed N. Yarmouth today, to cruise off Holland. Some additional vessels seem to have arrived overnight, or couldn't be identified yesterday : for the revised make up of the fleet click on Polyphemus.

23 Jul 1801 arrived N. Yarmouth Adm Dickson's squadron from a cruise off Goree, which included the following vessels : Blenheim, flag ship ; Assistance, Prince of Orange, and Ruby, ships of the line ; Alecto, fire-ship ; Adder, gun-ship ; Vesuve, gun-brig ; Speculator, lugger.

26 Jul 1801 the Ruby has been appointed to Ousley Bay, where she has been instructed to protect that part of the coast.

29 Jul 1801 departed N. Yarmouth, with the Phoenix, cutter, for Ousley Bay (aka Ozely Bay, etc.), now, I believe, Hollesley. 5 fishing smacks hired at Harwich by Trinity House to mark the sands at the entrance of the Swin, so that the buoys can be cut away and the harbour ceases to be of any use as an anchorage for an enemy fleet.

2 Sep 1801 departed Sheerness the Glatton, now fitted as a floating battery, Capt Devonshire, for Ousley Bay, to relieve the Ruby, 64.

12 Sep 1801 arrived N. Yarmouth Roads the Prince of Orange, and Ruby, from off the coast of Holland.

Sep 1801 Lt Luke Horne apptd to the Ruby.

12 Oct 1801 arrived N. Yarmouth, at noon, from the fleet off Goree.

19 Oct 1801 departed N. Yarmouth, with the lugger, Speculator, and the sloop Driver, for a cruise off Goree.

22 Nov 1801 remains in N. Yarmouth Roads with the Blenheim and fleet. Wind NNW.

20 Dec 1801 remains in N. Yarmouth Roads with the Blenheim, Adm. Dickson, and his squadron.

3 Jan 1802 the Blenheim, flag ship of Admiral Dickson, remains in Yarmouth Roads with the Monarch, Adm. Graves, Agamemnon, Raisonable, Standard, St. Albans, Veteran, Ruby, Asia, Polyphemus, Princess of Orange, and Assistance ; Adder gun-vessel ; Inspector, and Pylades sloops ; and Jalouse, and Cruiser brig.

11 Feb 1802 remains with the Blenheim, and the squadron, in Yarmouth Roads.

Circa 24 Feb 1802 Captain Captain H. Hill, apptd to the Ruby, 64, vice Sir Edward Berry, indisposed.

4 Mar 1802 departed N. Yarmouth the Standard, Ruby, of the line ; Hound and Diligence, sloops, to the Southward.

5 Mar 1802 arrived Spithead the Ruby, 64, and the Standard, 64, from Yarmouth, with them seamen from ships paid off at Deptford, to be transferred to ships lying at Spithead and fitting for sea.

3 Apr 1802 departed Spithead the Standard, Ruby, Texel, and Astrea, to the Eastward, to be paid off.

5 Apr 1802 arrived in the downs and passed through to Sheerness.

7 Apr 1802 arrived Sheerness, from the Downs, and will depart for Chatham shortly to be paid off.

10 May 1803 is to be fitted out for commissioning at Chatham without docking.

Circa 28 May 1803 Hon Capt Gardner apptd in command of the Ruby.

7 Jul 1803 departed Chatham for Long Reach, where she will probably take in her guns and powder &c.

28 Jul 1803 departed Long Reach for the Nore.

11 Sep 1803 arrived N Yarmouth from the Texel, the Hawke, Lieut James Grant, with dispatches from Capt Cunningham, senior officer on that station, where she left cruising on the 7th, the Princess of Orange, 74 ; Ruby, 64, Capt Hon Gardner ; the Virginie frigate, Capt Beresford, and the Phoenix cutter, Lieut Shirley. It may be of interest to note feelings amongst the Dutch fishermen (apparently known as Mynheers), in the Texel, said to be in a state of perfect apathy ; and whatever doubts may be entertained regarding the Dutch preparation for the invasion of England along the coast of Holland, none certainly appear in that quarter : for, say the fishermen, "it is neither our interest or inclination, and nothing but that cursed Bonaparte shall ever compel us to give you further opportunity of imprisoning our men, and increasing your navy, by such vessel's as the Commodore's," says he pointing to the Princess of Orange, well remembered as their boasted Washington. Lieut Grant has brought in with him, the Dutch vessel Belofter, Capt Francis Meuldief, laden with fish and oil, a prize to the Princess of Orange.

17 Oct 1803 arrived N Yarmouth Roads, the Ruby, to receive the flag of Adm Thornborough ; the captain and officers of the Ruby are to exchange with the officers of the Gelykheid, which is to sail in a few days.

Circa 17 Oct 1803 Capt Colby apptd to the Ruby, vice Hon Capt F Gardner.

18 Oct 1803 this morning, Adm Thornborough transferred his flag from the Gelykheid to the Ruby.

4 Nov 1803 remains in the N Yarmouth Roads, the Ruby, Adm Thornborough ; the Gelykheid, Adm Russell ; Crescent, Snipe, Ferretter ; Wind East.

10 Nov 1803 Adm Thornborough has shifted his flag from the Gelykheid to the Ruby, and remains in the Roads. On landing at the jetty stairs yesterday he unfortunately slipped and fell into the sea, but apart from a good soaking he received no injuries.

17 Nov 1803 departed N Yarmouth for the coast of Holland.

Circa 5 Mar 1804 Capt C Rowley apptd to the Ruby.

29 Oct 1804 arrived Spithead the Ruby, Capt Rowley, from the Eastward.

2 Nov 1804 departed Spithead, the Swiftsure, with flag officer, V.-Adm Order, Capt Robinson ; Defence, Capt Hope ; Polyphemus, Capt Lawford ; Ruby, Capt Rowley ; and the Agamemnon, Capt Harvey, with sealed orders.

May 1805 With Vice Admiral Sir John Orde.

2 Jan 1807 Remains in Yarmouth Roads.

26 Jul 1807 departed as a part of a fleet of 38 vessels for Copenhagen and was present from 15 Aug - 20 Oct 1807 for the siege and bombardment of Copenhagen and capture of Danish Fleet by Adm. Gambier.

Dec 1807 had departed from England to join a squadron under R.-Adm. Sir W. S. Smith, blockading the Tagus.

14 Jan 1810 arrived Sheerness.

18 Jan 1810 arrived Deal from the Baltic.

3 Jul 1811 arrived Deal from the Eastward.

1811 Bermuda - Hulked.