HMS Theseus

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Theseus, 1786
Type: 3rd rate ; Armament 74
Launched : 1786 ; Disposal date or year : 1814
BM: 1680 tons
Complement: 584

4 June 1794, Rear-admiral Montagu, Captain Robert Calder, 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.

5 Jul 1797 2nd bombardment of Cadiz.

29 May 1797 Attack on Santa-Cruz, Teneriffe.

18 Jan 1798 Theseus, Swiftsure, and others captured the French privateers L'Heureux, La Harmonie, and Le Hypomene, on the Lisbon station,.

24 May 1798 departed from off Cadiz with a squadron of 10 ships of the line to join Nelson's squadron in the Mediterranean, arriving 7 Jun.

7 Jun 1798 the search for the French fleet.

1 Aug 1798 the preparation for the Battle of the Nile.

1 Aug 1798 Battle of the Nile.

14 Aug 1798 the Orion, Bellerophon, Minotaur, Defence, Audacious, Theseus, and Majestic, accompanied by the prizes Franklin, Tonnant, Aquilon, Conquérant, Peuple-Souverain and Spartiate leave Aboukir Bay.

Mid Sep 1798 arrive Gibraltar with prizes and after making repairs sail for England leaving the Peuple-Souverain (re-named Guerrier) behind as a guard ship.

2 Feb 1799 arrived off Alexandria.

8 Mar - 20 May 1799 departed from Alexandria for Acre, to assist the successful defence of that place during the siege by Napoleon.

12 Jun 1799 departed for Beruta road, and afterwards to Larnica road, Cyprus.

circa 15 Jul 1799 arrived on the coast of Egypt. circa 9 Aug 1799 departed for Cyprus arriving the 16th in Baffa road.

12 Aug 1800 captured on the Mediterranean Station the Spanish brig Two Brothers, laden with Rags, Calavances, and Bass Matting, from Allen Bay.

3 Sep 1800 captured on the Mediterranean Station the Spanish Tartan, (Name unknown,) laden with Sundries, from Carbonarie Castle.

28 Oct 1800 Portsmouth, arrived from the Mediterranean.

13 Nov 1800 Portsmouth, departed for Chatham, to be paid off.

1 May 1800 the Spanish bows Diane ; taken by the Theseus on the Mediterranean Station.

8 Jun 1801 arrived Sheerness, the Theseus, Capt Stiles, from Chatham, to Blackstakes. {Blackstakes an anchorage in the Medway, one of the places where Danish, Swedish and Russian ships were anchored during the problems with the Northern Confederacy in 1801.]

18 Jun 1801 move from Blackstakes to the Great Nore, ie from the anchorage in the R. Medway to the Nore, which was an anchorage for the Royal Navy, near a treacherous sandbank, where the North Sea met the R. Thames.

3 Aug 1801 arrived Spithead from the North Seas.

10 Aug 1801 Plymouth Sound. This day presented a most beautiful scene from the Hoe, 200 sail laying too, becalmed from horizon to horizon, of East and West Indiamen, under convoy of the Theseus, of 74 gun, Santa Margarita, of 36 guns, and two other frigates ; at 10 A. M. a fine breeze at E.N.E. sprung up, and the whole fleet by noon were clear of the Dodman Point.

14 Aug 1801 departed Spithead, to join the Channel Fleet.

14 Oct 1801 arrived Spithead the Theseus, from the Channel Fleet.

19 Oct 1801 Adm. Lord Radstock hoisted his flag on board, at Spithead.

5 Jan 1802 the Temeraire, out at Spithead with the Formidable, Majestic, Theseus, Orion, Resolution, Vengeance and Resistance, are ordered to refit and victual for the West Indies, with all possible haste.

8 Jan 1802 arrived Plymouth Sound the Pompee, 84, Captain Stirling, from Spithead, to be paid off. She fell in with the Namur, 98, standing into St. Helen's. By the Pompee is learnt, that Vice-Admiral Mitchell has shifted his flag from the Temeraire, 98, to the Theseus, 74, which is to be tbe flag-ship on the expedition. Orders came down this day to allow only two days fresh beef to the men of war in harbour per week, there being so great a quantity of salt provisions in store at the victualling office.

15-16 Jan 1802 the following ships, under the command of R.-Adm. Campbell, dropped down to St. Helen's. They will sail, with sealed orders, the first fair wind, supposed for Jamaica : Temeraire, 98, R.-Adm. G. Campbell, Captain Eyles ; Formidable, 98, Captain Grindall ; Majestic, 74, Captain Gould ; Orion, 74, Captain Cuthbert ; Theseus, 74, Captain Bligh ; Desiree, 44, Captain Dacres ; and Morgiana, 18, Captain Otter.

7 Feb 1802 departed St. Helen's the Temeraire, 98, R.-Adm Campbell, Capt Eyles ; Formidable, 98, Capt Grindall ; Majestic, 74, Capt Gould ; Orion, 74, Capt Cuthbert ; Vengeance, 74, Capt Duff ; Resolution, 74, Capt Gardner ; Theseus, 74, Capt Bligh ; Desiree, 44, Capt Dacres ; and the Morgiana, store ship, 16, Capt Otter ; with sealed orders, supposed for Jamaica.

9 Feb 1802 owing to the contrary winds, rain and bad weather, put into Torbay : the Temeraire, Formidable, Theseus, Majestic, Orion, Vengeance, Resolution, Desiree, and Morgiana, and departed later for their destination.

17 May 1802 the Morgiana sloop of war, Captain Otter, arrived Spithead from Martinique, after a passage of 45 days, and reports that the Temeraire, Vengeance, Formidable, Resolution, Majestic, Theseus, and Desiree, under the command of R.-Adm. Campbell, departed Martinique, for Jamaica, a few days prior to her departure for England.

Circa 25 May 1802 Lieutenant G. Chamberlayne of the Theseus, pro tempore, to the Busy.

17 Oct 1802 the packet Lady Arabella, Porteus, arrived Falmouth from Jamaica, after a passage of 41 days, and reports that the Flag Ship Leviathan remained at Port Royal when she departed. The Theseus had departed Port Royal on the 17 Aug., the same day as the Aeolus, arrived from England. The Tartar also arrived at Port Royal on the 17 Aug, and departed on the 26 Aug., in company with the frigates Desiree and Trent.

13 Jan 1803 when the Falmouth packet Leicester arrived at Port Royal, Jamaica, she found lying there the Leviathan, 74 ; Bellerophon, 74 ; Vanguard, 74 ; Elephant, 74 ; Desiree, 40 ; and sloops Shark, Pelican and Racoon ; the De Ruyter arriving on the 17 Jan, with the 87th Regt., from Curacoa, and on the 21st the Theseus, 74 ; Cumberland, 74 ; Goliath, 74 ; and Ganges, 74, from a cruise.

2 May 1803 the Goliath, Theseus, and Hercule were reported to be cruising off Cape Francois in early May, the Bellerophon having returned to Port Royal.

14 May 1803 letters are received at Plymouth, reporting the arrival of the Hercule, Capt Ferris, at Guadaloupe on 5 Apr, from Plymouth, and expects to depart shortly for Jamaica. The letters also advise that the Blenheim has recently been ashore and had to throw 18 guns overboard to get off, and has gone to Martinique. The Elephant, Vanguard, and Bellerophon, 74s, and the frigate Desiree, were reported to be at Jamaica. The Goliath, Cumberland and Theseus were on a cruise, as were the Tartar, Shark and Echo, off the North of Jamaica, and the Calypso off Cape Tiberon.

24 Jul-2 Sep 1803 chase and capture of the French 74 Duquesne, and the escape of the Duguay-Trouin, 74 and the 40-gun frigate Guerrière.

19 Sep 1803 off Port Dauphin, St Domingo, received the surrender of the French garrison &c.

Dec 1803 preparations made for an attack on the island of Curaçoa 31 Jan 1804 Dutch refused to surrender. Seamen and marines landed and operations continued until the 25 Mar when the operation was abandoned.

Circa 5 Mar 1804 Mr Vance, late surgeon of the Theseus apptd to be one of the Surgeons at Haslar Hospital.

11 Mar 1804 the Elephant, Theseus, Hercule, and Desiree, were at Port Royal Jamaica ; the Bellerophon and Vanguard, with the Tartar and Eolus, were off the West end of St Domingo ; the Port Mahon, and Papillon brigs, off Port Morant ; the Hunter and Mignonne, off Montego Bay ; and the Flying Fish, and Gipsey, were off the coast of Cuba ; the Fairy had sailed for Honduras, and the Camel for Halifax.

Circa 19 May 1804 Mr Bayley, of the Eurydice, promoted to Lieut of the Theseus.

4-10 Sep 1804 damaged in a hurricane to the north of the East Bahama Shoals, losing masts and taking in water : 5 foot 6 inches measured at one time. See p. 748 of the Nautical Magazine for 1835, available in Google Books.

11 Sep 1804 ran through the Caicos Passage.

15 Sep 1804 anchored in Port Royal.

Circa 24 Nov 1804 Lieut S G Parsons, late of the Ganges, apptd to the Theseus.

Circa 1 Dec 1804 reports received in England that the Theseus and Hercule experienced a hurricane which last 5 days and that at its height they lost all their masts bar their fore masts, and had five and a half feet of water in the hold. The Theseus threw 12 of her guns overboard, and with the Franchise, despite having many problems eventually arrived in Port Royal some 12 days later. No lives were reported lost.

May 1805 Jamaica Station.

1805 Returned to Chatham for repairs.

4 Feb 1808 off Ferrol, a part of Sir R King's squadron.

21 Feb 1809 Revenge observed R.-adm Willaumez put to sea from Brest with a squadron of 7 ships of the line, and re-joined her squadron under Captain Beresford (Theseus, Triumph and Valiant) at Glenans, watching Lorient, with the information : they were subsequently chased off the Lorient station by the larger French Squadron.

24 Feb 1809 later that day Rear-admiral Stopford's squadron returned to his station off the Chasseron lighthouse, and observed the squadron of M. Willaumez at anchor in Basque roads, and was joined on the 25th by Captain Beresford and his three ships, with his force thus augmented to seven sail of the line and five frigates, resumed the blockade of the port, with the Hero joining shortly afterwards.

7 Mar 1809 Admiral Lord Gambier relieved Rear-admiral Stopford's in command of the blockade of Basque Roads.

17 Mar 1809 anchored in Basque roads. 11 Apr the use of fire ships, explosion-vessels, and Congreve rockets against the French fleet at Basque roads and the results thereof. 12 Apr attempt made to destroy grounded French vessels, following the previous night's attack.

Deal 2 Jan 1810 departed to Sheerness to refit.

Harwich 22 Apr 1811 Remains in Hoseley Bay.

Deal 14 Jul 1811 arrived from off Flushing.

Deal 16 Oct 1811 Is off the North Foreland, and expected to arrive in the Downs this evening.

Deal 5 Nov 1811 Remains in the Downs, due to adverse winds.

Deal 27 May 1812 departed for off Flushing.

Deal 2 Sep 1812 departed on a cruise off the Scheldt.

Deal 8 Dec 1812 departed for Portsmouth, to refit.