HMS Sparkler

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Sparkler, late Gunboat No. 7 , 1797
Type: Gun-vessel ; Armament 12
Launched : 1797 ; Disposal date or year : Sep 1802
BM: 159 Tons
Complement : 50

Apr 1797 commissioned for service in the English Channel as Gunboat No. 7.

Aug 1797 Gunboat No. 7 renamed Sparkler.

24 Jun 1800 a court martial was held on board the Gladiator, at Portsmouth harbour, on Mr. William O'Kelly, the surgeon of the gun vessel Sparkler. Lieutenant Walker, the commanding officers stated he behaved in a mutinous, riotous and disorderly manner : disobeying orders, and striking Mr.Allen, the Clerk etc. The charges being proved in part, Mr. O'Kelly was sentenced to two years in Marshalsea Prison, and to forfeit his pay.

2 Jul 1800 a court martial was held on board the Gladiator, in Portsmouth harbour, on William Walker, commanding officer of the Sparkler, on numerous charges of having answered for men at musters who had deserted, having shortened the ship's provisions and drawn the balance on shore for his own use ; and sent salt herrings on board without vegetables, and much else besides. The charges being proved in part Lieutenant Walker was dismissed HM Service.

19 Aug 1800 Copy of a letter from Captain John Wight, Commander of HM Sloop Wolverine dated at St. Marecu, 19 Aug 1800. This morning, having been informed by Captain Price, that some part of the enemy's convoy, consisting of two large sloops, were attempting to make their escape from the mouth of the river Isigny, and proceeding along shore to the eastward, I lost no time in giving chase, having in company the Sparkler and Force gun-brigs. The enemy finding themselves so hard pressed, and no probability of escape, run themselves on shore in the bay of Grand Camp, commanded on both sides of the entrance by heavy batteries, which I attacked for near an hour, and was ably assisted by Lieut. Stephens, of the Sparkler, and Lieut. Tokeley, of the Force, covering Lieut. Gregory of the Wolverene, with the cutter and jolly-boat with a party of Marines, who gallantly boarded the largest vessel under the fire of three field pieces, and near 200 men with musquetry, within half pistol-shot of the shore, and set her on fire and otherwise disabled her. The other was so completely shot through as to stop her further proceedings. I am happy to have it in my power to inform their Lordships, that neither the vessels, or men suffered any thing, excepting three of the Wolverene's, who were a good deal burnt on board the sloop by an explosion of gunpowder. The enemy lost four men killed on the beach. I am, Sir, &c. John Wight.

11 Sep 1800 Portsmouth, arrived the Champion, with dispatches from Marcou (off Cape la Hogue). On Tuesday last, in company with the Dolphin cutter, and Sparkler and Bouncer gun-brigs, drove on shore and destroyed two sloops, laden with barilla.

15 Sep 1800 the Badger, in company with the brig Sparkler, off St. Marcou : with cover provided by the Sparkler, Lieut Stevens, against a shore battery, the ships' boats, captured the 60 foot, 9 ft beam, French privateer Victoire, row boat, 26 oars, 4 swivels, 40+ men, of Boulogne, 4 miles off the West Island. Joseph Silk, of the Badger, wounded by a musquet-ball in the shoulder, being the only casualty, apart from a few shot through the Sparkler's sails. See Gazette issue 15294 of 16 Sep 1800.

10 Mar 1801 the North Sea Fleet has come together at N. Yarmouth, and consists of the London, and St George, 98 guns, Adm. Sir Hyde Parker having transferred his flag from the Ardent to the St George ; Monarch, Bellona, Saturn, Ramilies, Ganges, Warrior, Russell and Defence, 74 ; Veteran, Ardent, Polyphemus, Raisonable, Agamemnon, 64 ; Glatton, 54 ; Isis, 50 ; Desiree, Blanche, and Amazon frigates ; Pylades, Hyaena, Dart, and Arrow, sloops ; Biter, Harpy, Blazer, Bruiser, Tigress, Pelter, Teazer, Hasty, Force, Sparkler Brigs ; Terror, Volcano, Explosion, Hecla, Zebra, Albion, Sulphur, and Discovery bombs ; Eling, schooner ; cutters Fox and Hazard ; and luggers Rover and Lark.

Circa 12 Mar 1801 fleet under Admiral Sir Hyde Parker and Lord Nelson, consisting of 17 ships of the line, 3 frigates, 10 gun-brigs, nearly as many bomb-ketches, with smaller vessels usually attendant on a fleet, making in the whole nearly 50 sail, got under weigh from Yarmouth Roads at the break of day, and by eight o'clock had cleared the Sands ; they directed their course to the northward, wafted by a fine breeze at S.W. as departed from Yarmouth roads for Copenhagen (Naval Chronicle). On arrival at Copenhagen supported the ships-of-the-line as required.

18 Jun 1801 a letter of this date, received from Kioge Bay, in the Baltic, reports the presence of the following fleet, this at about the same time as Lord Nelson departed in the Kite for N. Yarmouth, V.-Adm Pole having arrived here in the Aeolus to relieve Nelson : the St George, Elephant, Defiance, Polyphemus, Edgar, Agamemnon, Defence, Adder, Aeolus, Kite, Dart, Zebra, Terror, Explosion, Sulphur, Discovery, Volcano, Hecla, Wrangler, Cracker, Safeguard, Sparkler, Attack, Tigress, Bruiser, Hasty, Biter, Otter, Force, Pleaser, Teazer.

19 Jul 1801 would appear to have arrived N. Yarmouth with the Baltic fleet under the command of Adm Graves, but wasn't included in the listing ; she was, however, included in the list of vessels that departed on the 20th.

20 Jul 1801 The fleet under the command of R.-Adm. Sir Thomas Graves, which arrived yesterday evening from the Baltic, departed N. Yarmouth today, supposed for a cruise off Holland : for the revised make up of the fleet click on Polyphemus.

27 Aug 1801 taken into dock at Sheerness.

11 Oct 1801 at Sheerness, and has been ordered to prepare to be paid off following the recent signing of the Peace of Amiens.

20 Oct 1801 departed Sheerness, the Teaser, Lt Robins ; the Pincher, Lt Black ; and the Sparkler, Lt Dick, with seamen for the Zealand, for the stationed ships in Ousley Bay, and King's Channel, and to take out the harbour duty men, and Greenwich pensioners, which those ships are chiefly manned with, and will then sail for the River, [presumably to be paid off.] Ed.

2 Nov 1801 remains at the Little Nore.

12 Nov 1801 remains Sheerness, with 6 sloops and 14 gun-brigs, at the Nore.

27 Nov 1801 is reported to have come into Sheerness harbour to be paid off.

3 Dec 1801 remains Sheerness.

25 Dec 1801 departed Sheerness, the Sparkler, Lt Dick, for Harwich.

10 Dec 1801 gun brigs that have been paid off and dismantled at Sheerness, will have been laid up in ordinary in Queenborough Creek.

18 Apr 1802 has been paid off at Sheerness.

23 Jul 1802 head money for those present at the Engagement at Copenhagen on the 2d April 1801, due for payment.

9 Sep 1802 notice is given that the Sparkler Gun-Vessel, Copper-bottomed, lying at Sheerness, has been put up for sale.