HMS Superb

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Superb, 1798
Type: 3rd rate ; Armament 74
Launched : 1798 ; Disposal date or year : 1826

25 Apr 1799 cruising off Brest.

15 Jan 1799 at Spithead ; 17th dropped down to St. Helen's in preparation for a cruise off Brest ; 20th remains at St. Helen's.

28 Jan 1799 Portsmouth, departed with the squadron under Queen Charlotte, for a cruise off Brest.

27 Feb 1799 Plymouth, departed for Torbay with the Formidable, Canada, Dragon, and Lancaster.

8 Jun 1799 Plymouth, reports received here advise that 16 ships of the line and 4 frigates were detached by Lord Bridport for the Straits.

7 Jul 1799 joined the Mediterranean fleet off Minorca.

27 Nov 1799 Portsmouth, arrived the Prince, Superb, Pompee and Agamemnon, from the Channel Fleet.

1 Dec 1799 Portsmouth, arrived from Lord Bridport’s fleet.

12 Mar 1801 arrived Plymouth from the Channel Fleet.

24 Apr 1800 Torbay, departed with the Channel Fleet, under the command of Sir Alan Gardner.

12 Oct 1800 Plymouth, arrived the from the secret expedition.

Circa 1 Nov 1800 Lieutenant Folvil, of the Superb, is promoted to the rank of Commander, and appointed to the Sally armed ship.

27 Nov 1800 Portsmouth, arrived from the Channel Fleet, to refit.

15 Jan 1801 went out of harbour to Spithead.

25 Jan 1801 departed Spithead with the Resolution, to join the Channel Fleet.

31 Jan 1801 departed Cawsand Bay to join the Channel Fleet.

12 Mar 1801 arrived Cawsand Bay from the Channel Fleet.

21 Mar 1801 departed Plymouth to join the fleet at Torbay.

21 Mar 1801 arrived Torbay.

28 Mar 1801 arrived Spithead from the Channel Fleet.

1 Apr 1801 The Superb, which formed a part of the protection of the outward bound Indian convoy got on shore on the Warner last night, but the weather being fine she got off on the flood without any damage and departed Spithead in company with the Venerable and the Cambrian along with the East India convoy, and there now being a fine breeze from the Eastward, they should now be well down Channel.

2 Apr 1801 at Plymouth, passed down the outward bound East India fleet, under convoy of the with the Superb, Venerable, and Cambrian, the two former are to see them off Madeira, and the Cambrian goes on to the Cape.

22 Apr 1801 arrived Plymouth Sound L'Audacieux French lugger, of 14 guns and 70 men, taken by the Superb, in company with the Venerable, and Cambrian in lat. 42. The prize-master left the East India fleet all well the 18th of March. The Venerable, 74 guns, by her boats, had taken out the sinking crew of a Spanish Brig water-logged, and she went down soon after.

27 Apr 1801 arrived Spithead with the Venerable from the Channel Fleet.

21 May 1801 arrived Plymouth Sound the Spanish vessels Santa Teresa and the brig El Rosario, both laden with Buenos Ayres hides and tallow from the Rio de la Plata, captured the 17th ult. in the latitude of the Canary Isles, by the Superb, Venerable, and Cambrian, which they left all well the 18th ult. The Superb was cruising in those seas to intercept a Spanish 64 with money, armed en flute, and four sail of ships with similar cargoes to the Santa Teresa : they were to sail from Rio de la Plata some days after the above prizes. The Superb, and Cambrian were convoying the outward bound East India ships to the Cape of Good Hope.

13 Jun 1801 chased the two French 40-gun frigates Libre and Indienne in to the road of Cadiz.

1 Jul 1801 detached to watch the entrance of the river Guadalquivir, but on the 5th 1801 recalled to join the squadron, but was becalmed and unable to rejoin in time for the action in Algeziras roads.

8 Jul 1801 observed a Franco-Spanish squadron of 6 sail of the line prepare to sail on the 9th for Algeziras, and departed to Gibraltar to warn the Admiral.

12 Jul 1801 departed from Gibraltar with a view to chasing the Franco-Spanish squadron which had been observed preparing to sail from Algeziras. 12th-13th the engagement commenced resulting in the destruction of the 1st rates Real-Carlos and San-Hermenegildo, and the capture of the 3rd rate Saint-Antoine (aka San-Antonio), subsequently purchased into the service.

22 Jul 1801 the Superbe, Venerable, and Cambrian, had chased into Cadiz Bay, three French frigates, having on board two French Centre Admirals and seamen, for the Spanish squadron of 12 sail of the line fitting for sea there, and that their sailing had been retarded by one of the storehouses full of naval stores having caught fire in the dock-yard, and been totally consumed. They were waiting for Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez's squadron from Gibraltar to block them up.

16 Aug 1801 letters, as dated, from off Cadiz, received at Plymouth from an officer of the Thames, state that Rear Admiral Sir J. Saumarez, Bart, with seven sail of the line, two frigates, and a sloop of war, having refitted at Gibraltar, departed the 9th to block up Cadiz, and on the 10th ult. was joined by Commodore Tyler with 4 sail of the Baltic Fleet from Cork ; his fleet now consists of the following ships : Caesar, Warrior, Pompee, Spencer, Venerable, Superbe, Bellona, Defence, Russell, Audacious, Caroline, 44, Thames, 32, and Peterell, 18, all well equipped and in high spirits.

2 Sep 1801 Adm Pole in the St George, Dreadnought, Ramilies, Vanguard, Powerful and Zealous, arrived off Cadiz on 31 Aug., and on 2 Sep., in company with Sir James Saumarez's squadron, consisting of the Defence, Warrior, Spencer, Superb, Audacious, ships of the line ; and Caroline, Thames, frigates ; and sloop Peterell, began cruising before Cadiz. The Bellona was reported to be at Gibraltar fishing her main-mast.

19 Sep 1801 when off Lisbon the Superb reported the departure of the Superb, Defence, and Peterell sloop, from Vice-Admiral Pole on the 6th instant.

19 - 29 Oct 1801 called at Lisbon during this period, departing on a cruise on the 29th.

31 Oct 1801 the Falmouth packet Prince of Wales arrived in the Tagus and departed for Falmouth on the 16 Nov., and during this period the Superb, Phaeton, Leda, Voltigeur, Calpe, and Hydra, also arrived in the Tagus. The Superb, Leda, Calpe, and Hydra, remained at Lisbon, when the Prince of Wales sailed, the Phaeton and Voltigeur having already departed.

17 Nov 1801 the Falmouth packet Walsingham arrived Lisbon, where she found the Superb, Capt Keats, Hydra, Hon Capt Paget, and Constance, Capt Mudge. The Walsingham departed on 24 Nov., by which time the Superb and Hydra had already departed the Tagus.

15 Jan 1802 was reported to be off Gibraltar.

circa 27 Feb 1802 the Penelope, departed Gibraltar for England, leaving the following vessels at Gibraltar : the Caesar, Sir J Saumarez ; the Dreadnought, Capt Vashon ; Superb, Capt Keats ; Triumph, Capt Barlow ; Phoenix, Capt Halsted ; and Leda, Capt Hope.

15 Jun 1802 the Superb remained in Gibraltar Bay when the Mermaid frigate departed Gibraltar for Lisbon.

1 Jul 1802 remained in Gibraltar Bay when the Pomone departed for England.

11 Sep 1802 arrived the Motherbank, and was put under Quarantine, HM sloop Delight, Captain the Hon. F.W. Aylmer, from Gibraltar in 15 days. Left at Gibraltar HM ships Superb, Dragon, and Triumph.

23 Sep 1802 a report, as dated, received in England from Gibraltar describes a "most violent storm of thunder and lightning," which greatly damaged a number of the vessels anchored in the Bay, none of them being fitted with any chain conductors. The first ship struck was the Gibraltar, which received a hit by lightning close to the magazine, and it was stated that it seemed almost a miracle that that it was not blown up. A flash of lightning initially struck the fore-top gallant mast head, and split for fore-top gallant mast-head, and shivered the fore-mast into a thousand pieces, sending some as far aft as the quarter-deck. From the fore-mast the lightning passed into the light room, close to the magazine, destroying a strong plate glass, from whence it travelled into the Gunner's storeroom, where it destroyed several boxes of grape-shot, after which it doesn't appear to have gone any further. Fortunately only 2 men were injured, one being severely scorched. The next hit was on the frigate Active, which split the top-gallant mast, and carried away the main-top mast, several feet of the mast disappearing, not a vestige being found after the explosion. The main mast was also split in several places, and the ship's butcher, who was standing close to the mast at the time with his cleaver in his hand, was killed on the spot, and almost all the personnel on the deck being knocked down by the violence of the shock, the lightning being observed to play like a stream of fire for a short time above the deck, and on leaving left a smell of sulphur. The Superb and Dragon were also struck ; the former having her main-top-gallant and binnacle on the quarter-deck carried away ; the latter ship wasn't damaged, though the lightning passed all round the Captain's cabin, running along the bell wires. The Gibraltar has gone into the Mole to repair her damages.

6 Oct 1802 a mutiny took place on board the Gibraltar as her squadron, made up of the Dragon, Gibraltar, Triumph, Superb and Renown departed Gibraltar to rejoin the Admiral in the Mediterranean. See below re the mutiny.

18 Oct 1802 was reported by the Medusa, arrived Gibraltar, from Malta yesterday, to be cruising off Carthagena with the squadron of British ships of the line, Superb, Gibraltar, Triumph and Renown, based in the Mediterranean.

28-29 Nov 1802 a letter, as dated, received from the Dragon, supplemented by another from the Superb, both now at anchor in Oristagni Bay, Sardinia which detail how, on the 6th Oct., when orders had been received for the squadron to depart Gibraltar, presumably for Malta, when it was discovered that the ship's company of the Gibraltar, 84, had mutinied, and expressed a wish to sail to the Westward, but the officers and marines soon quelled the the mutiny and the two ring leaders were secured and put on board the Dragon where they were subsequently court martialled and found guilty before being returned to the Gibraltar where they were executed.

29 Dec 1802 departed Oristagni Bay, destination unknown.

5 Jan 1803 the sloop of war Hound, arrived at the Motherbank from Gibraltar in 16 days, bringing reports that a mutiny had broken out on board the Gibraltar.

13 Jan 1803 letters received Plymouth, from the Triumph, Superb, and Dragon, report that the two ring leaders of the mutineers on board the Gibraltar, were executed on board the Gibraltar in sight of the port of Cagliari, in the island of Sardinia.

3 Mar 1803 the following vessels remained at Valetta when the Hector departed Malta, for England : the Kent, Superb, Triumph, Donegal, Gibraltar, Agincourt, Charon, Expedition, Experiment, Active, Phoebe, Niger, Victorieuse, and Resistance, the Regulus, and Raven, having departed Malta for Egypt, and the Blonde to Naples, the crew of the Raven having been reported to be sick. The Tourterelle, Pandour, were lying at Alexandria ; and the Braakel, guard ship, at Smyrna ; the Anson having departed Malta for Egypt at the latter end of November.

8 Jul 1803 with the blockading fleet off Toulon.

9 Jul 1803 a letter as dated from the Superb reports being 2 miles from Toulon, and that they've been cruising off the port for 2 months ; and that the squadron consists of the following vessels : Kent, Donegal, Superb, Triumph, Monmouth, Gibraltar, Agincourt, Belleisle, Renown ; and the frigates Medusa, and Amphion ; with the Termagent sloop ; and Weasel brig.

The Hampshire Telegraph of the 10 Oct 1803, reports receipt of a letter from the Victory, off Toulon, dated 1 Sep., brought to England by the frigate Experiment, just arrived at Spithead, stating that the Victory has been cruising there for 5 weeks ; the squadron consists of 6 sail of the line, including also the Kent, Canopus, Superb, Triumph and Renown ; the French squadron remains the same, apart from a frigate and a brig which got into Toulon, from Marseilles, when heavy gales blew the blockading squadron off the coast.

24 Oct 1803, departed for the Magdalena islands for water etc., returned Toulon 23 Nov.

Late 1803, Of the weak and ill-provided state of several of his ships, Lord Nelson, in his letters to the admiralty, complained very bitterly, and, as it appears, not without reason. " The Superb, " says his lordship . . . . . "

12 Dec 1803, whilst the Narcissus watched Toulon the Fleet departed for the bay of Palma and thence to the Magdalena islands for water etc.

4 Jan 1804 departed from Sardinia with the Fleet ; on the 9th detached to Algiers, where on the 18th he re-joined the Fleet and returned, with the Fleet, arriving back at Sardinia on 27th. 1 Feb cruised on the French coast, anchoring off Cabrera on the 8th ; cruised again from the 19 Feb to 25 Mar.

3 Apr 1804 cruised off the French coast apart from returning briefly to the Magdalena islands to water from 11 to 19 May.

19 Jul 1804 following the receipt of supplies from England the fleet departed for the gulf of Palma to store ship ; returned 26 Aug, although it is reported by the Kent, arrived Portsmouth circa 14 Jul., that the Superb was refitting at Malta about this time.

25 Dec 1804 detached from the British fleet off Toulon.

15 Jan 1805 rejoined the Mediterranean fleet from Algiers.

19 Jan 1805 whilst watering at Agincourt sound the Mediterranean fleet was informed that the Toulon fleet was at sea, and departed in search. It was discovered on 14 Feb that the French fleet had returned to Toulon.

28 Mar 1805 victualled at Palma and on the 3 Apr departed to water at Pulla bay, but on the 4th received the signal from the Phoebe that the Toulon fleet was at sea again : the search began again. 4 May 1805 detached from the Mediterranean fleet to Tetuan for cattle, fruit, and vegetables, but following a change in the wind the fleet departed on 5 May, the Superb leaving her cargo of cattle and vegetables etc. on the beach. Having provisioned for 5 months on the 10th rendez-voused on 12th at Cape St.-Vincent with a convoy of troops from England and detached the Royal-Sovereign to the convoy, following which Nelson departed for Madeira and the West Indies.

15 May 1805 arrived Madeira : and Barbadoes 4 Jun with news that the French fleet was in the West Indies : was joined by the Spartiate : 13th arrived Antigua and departed for Europe.

17 Jul 1805 arrived off Cape St.-Vincent and departed for Gibraltar, and having watered etc. proceeded west and north. 15 Aug received news from Adm. Cornwallis off Ushant, before Victory and Superb departed for Spithead, the latter "not having been in a home-port since the 16th of January, 1801, was in a very crazy state."

Circa 23 Dec 1805 the squadron under V.-adm Duckworth, having lifted the blockade of Cadiz, was between Madeira / Canary isles, where it was reported a French Squadron had molested one and chased another convoy. The French squadron was sighted on 25 Dec and chased, but after 30 hours was discontinued and the squadron departed for the West Indies.

12 Jan 1806 arrived Barbadoes. 14th departed for St. Christopher to water. 21 Jan joined by the Northumberland and Atlas. 1 Feb Kingfisher joined with intelligence that a French squadron had been seen steering for Santo-Domingo. 3rd was joined by the Epervier off Saint-Thomas. 5th Magicienne joined confirming the intelligence. 6 Feb a French Squadron was sighted leaving Santo-Domingo. the action of Santo-Domingo Roads commenced ; 2 French ships (Impérial and Diomède) run ashore and 3 (Alexandre, Jupiter, Brave) taken ; the wash-up ; the casualties ; more wash-up.

27-28 Jul 1806 Mars, Superb and Africa, a part of a squadron under Cdre R. G. Keats, in lat. 47° N., long. 7° west when the Mars sighted and went in chase of a French frigate squadron, but were unable to keep the Mars in sight ; after a long chase the Mars captured the French frigate Rhin, which was purchased into the service.

5 Aug 1807 arrived 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.

Circa 1 Feb 1808 having, due to bad weather, been unable to maintain a watch off Rochefort, R.-adm. Strachan's squadron, on being informed of the escape of the French squadron, probably bound to the Mediterranean, departed in pursuit.

Circa 4 Feb 1808 off Ferrol, spoke Sir R King's squadron ; on the 9th was off Cadiz, passed the Rock on the following day, and joined V.-adm. E. Thornborough's squadron in Palermo bay on the 21st.

2 Mar 1808 joined Lord Collingwood's squadron off the island of Maritimo. 6 Mar received news that the French fleet had been at sea for a month and departed in search, which continued for a week or two after the French fleet had returned to Toulon on 10 Apr. Leaving Vice-admiral Thornborough with a sufficient force to blockade Toulon, Lord Collingwood departed for Gibraltar and Cadiz, to contribute his aid to the cause of the Spanish patriots.

[Would appear to have perhaps returned to the UK or Atlantic waters prior to the end of the previous operation since on.....]

May - Oct 1808 in the Baltic with a fleet under V.-adm Sir J Saumarez.

9 - 11 Aug 1808 involved in the evacuation of 10,000 Spanish troops from Denmark to England and thence to Spain, following Spain's determination to evict the French invaders from Spain, which involved a boat action against the Danish vessels Fama, and Salorman.

Falmouth 12 Nov 1812 arrived with convoys bound to the Mediterranean and Lisbon.

9 Feb 1813 captured a U.S. privateer, the 6 gun brig Star, with 35 men.

Plymouth 22 Apr 1813 Has detained and sent in the Magdalen, of New York, and the American schooner Viper, both from Nantz.

Falmouth 18 May 1813 departed on a cruise.

Portsmouth 14 Jul 1813 departed for the Westward.

Portsmouth 1 Feb 1814 departed for the Halifax station.

6 Mar 1814, the Asia arrived Bermuda from Portsmouth, V.-Adm. Sir A. Cochrane, Capt. Paget, with the Superb, Capt. Wainwright.

14 Apr 1814 ships' boats of the Superb and Nimrod destroyed vessels as measured in the aggregate 2522 tons and a large cotton manufactory, &c., valued at $500,000, at Wareham, at the head of Buzzard's bay in the state of Connecticut.

19 Jun 1814, arrived Halifax, the Spanish sloop Candalina, from Havanna, to Boston, sent in by the Superb.

22 Jul 1814, arrived Halifax, a Jebacca boat, from N. York, with a cargo of flour etc., detained by the Superb.

19 Oct 1814, arrived Halifax, from the Chesapeake.

15 Jan 1815 reported to be off New York.

Plymouth 24 May 1815 departed for the westward.

28 May 1814 the Curlew arrived Halifax, N.S., with a convoy of many vessels including the Spanish brig Catherine, from St. Domingo, for New Bedford, sent in by the Superb.

Plymouth 17 Jul 1815 Has detained and sent in the French schooner Jennie, from Oleron for L'Orient, with timber.

Plymouth 26 Aug 1815 arrived.

Plymouth 13 Jul 1816 Preparing for the forthcoming Algerine Expedition.

28 Jul 1816 departed as a part of a fleet of 19 vessels from Plymouth Sound, for Gibraltar and the bay of Algiers.

9 Aug 1816 the fleet arrived at Gibraltar, where it joined the Dutch squadron, which had arrived the previous evening, and which, it was agreed, would join the expedition. Whilst at Gibraltar the fleet was victualled and preparations made for the forthcoming battle, with gunnery practice &c. taking place.

27 Aug 1816 circa 1400 hours, no reply having been received to Lord Exmouth's demands, the ships of the fleet took up their stations and the Battle of Algiers commenced, ceasing about 2200 hours. Account of casualties. Account of powder and shot expended. Conferences &c. held with the Dey following the battle regards the demands of the allies and settlements made : honours and awards. See also p. 226 at

3 Sep the fleet departed from Algiers for Gibraltar and England.

Medals granted to surviving officers, seamen and marines (and soldiers who served as marines) per order of 7th June, 1848

Plymouth 5 Oct 1816 arrived from Algiers and Gibraltar and put under quarantine.

Plymouth 7 Aug 1818 arrived from a 2 month cruise and exercises in the Channel.

Plymouth 24 Jul 1819 To sail to South America in the near future, having been equipped for sea and is at present awaiting her complement.

26 Jul 1819 Portsmouth - it reported that the Superb is to be sent from Plymouth to South America for 10 months to augment the forces already there, and on return will continue as Guard Ship at Plymouth. She is at present increasing her crew to her seagoing complement of 540 and is fitting out for foreign service.

Rio Janeiro 24 Oct 1819 arrived from Plymouth.

Rio Janeiro 20 Aug 1820 In the river Plate.

27 Nov 1821 Is in commission and based in the Brazils.

Lisbon 25 May 1825 Refitting in the Tagus.

Lisbon 19 Nov 1825 departed for Portsmouth.

Portsmouth 30 Nov 1825 arrived from the Tagus, having been relieved by the Albion. She is to be paid off and re-commissioned.

Portsmouth 16 Jan 1826 In the harbour.