HMS Venerable

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Venerable, 1784
Type: Third rate: ship, small ; Armament 74-gun
Launched : 1784 ; Disposal date or year : 24 Nov 1804
Disposal Details : drove on shore while attempting to leave harbour at Roundham Head, Torbay : 4 men known to have been lost when the ship went down ; although it was suspected that another 4 were also lost ; Captain John Hunter.

Feb 1795 a small British squadron, under the orders of Vice-admiral Adam Duncan, in the 74-gun ship Venerable, was despatched to the North Sea, to watch the motions of the Dutch fleet lying in the Texel.

May 1797 remained off the Texel during the mutiny on the Nore command.

3 Oct 1797 arrived Yarmouth from off the Texel to victual and store etc.

9 Oct 1797 departed from Yarmouth for the Texel. 11 Oct 1797 engaged the Dutch fleet in what was to be known as the Battle of Camperdown (Admiral Duncan).

21 Feb 1798 prize money resulting from the sale of Dutch ships captured on the 11 Oct 1797 due for payment.

24 Apr 1799 Portsmouth, arrived at St. Helen's from the eastward.

4 Jun 1799 arrived off Basque road.

14 Dec 1799 Portsmouth, arrived the Royal George, Venerable, Achilles, and Montague, from the Channel fleet.

10 Jan 1800 Portsmouth, a boat with eighteen persons in it was overset near the White Buoy, on its passage to the Venerable, lying at St, Helen's. Those who unfortunately perished were, B. C. Meredith, Lieutenant of the Marines ; Mr. Stokes, Midshipman ; ten seamen, three boys, and one woman, all belonging to the above ship : 2 men were happily saved. One of them preserved himself by means of a trunk belonging to an officer, who fortunately avoided sharing the fate of the above persons by getting out of the boat only a few minutes before it left the Sally Port. The two seamen saved from the Venerable's boat, and picked up by the laudable exertions of a wherryman, being brought on shore, were immediately attended by Mr. Sharp, surgeon, in Broad-street, who, by his perseverance, restored them both to society. He restored one by an emetic, and the other by the process prescribed by the Humane Society.

8 Feb 1800 Portsmouth, this afternoon the following ships, under the command of Admiral Whitshed, went down to St. Helen's, viz. Temeraire, London, Pompee, Venerable, Ramilies, and Montague.

20 Feb 1800 St. Helen's, departed for Torbay : Temeraire, London, Pompee, Venerable, Hector, Ramilies, and Montagu.

22 Feb 1800 Plymouth, an express arrived from Torbay to the Victualling Office, to send over craft with beer to complete the following men of War arrived there, viz. Temeraire, London, Venerable, Hector, Ramillies, Pompee, and Montagu.

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

28 Aug 1800 Plymouth, departed to join the Channel fleet.

20 Feb 1801 arrived Plymouth Sound from the Channel Fleet.

26 Feb 1801 arrived Plymouth Sound from the Channel Fleet, to shift her main-mast.

7 Mar 1801 the crew of the Venerable, in Cawsand Bay, got up shears on board her, and actually took out the main-mast and dropped it alongside, and got it in again after examining it.

19 Mar 1801 departed Plymouth to join the squadron cruising off the Black Rock.

20 Mar 1801 the weather blowing a heavy gale at W by N took shelter in Torbay where she was later joined by the Ville de Paris and her fleet 10 other vessels.

28 Mar 1801 arrived Spithead with the Superb from the Channel Fleet.

31 Mar 1801 departed Spithead in company with the Superb and the Cambrian with the East India convoy.

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 Venerable, in company with the Superb, 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.

23 Apr 1801 the Venerable departed the East India squadron in lat 14, N., long 27, W., the convoy continuing under the command of the Cambrian.

27 Apr 1801 arrived Spithead with the Superb 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. [** Link takes you to the Hired lugger Plymouth, which took Santa Teresa and Rosario in a convoy to London on 6 Jun 1801.]

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

5 Jul 1801 departed from off Cadiz for Algeziras roads where, on the 6th, the squadron engaged a small French squadron protected shore batteries, during which severe action the Hannibal went aground and was lost to the Spanish and French : details of casualties sustained in the action.

12 Jul 1801 departed Gibraltar to chase a Franco-Spanish squadron observed sailing from Algeziras. 12th-13th the engagement commenced resulting in the destruction of 2 first rates, and the capture of a 3rd rate.

22 Jul 1801 it was reported in the UK that 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.

6 Aug 1801 letters dated the 14th ult. from the Venerable, at Gibraltar, state, that she lost in the victory of the 12th, the Master killed, and 100 men killed and wounded ; so great was the ardour of the wounded tars in the hospital at Rosia Bay, that when they found our was squadron going in pursuit of the enemy, they absolutely got out of the hospital, and went to the Pier Head begging admission into the boats, emphatically saying, they must have a lick at the Dons ; many who were convalescent were admitted on board their respective ships.

5 Sep 1801 letters received at Plymouth from an officer of the Thames, dated 16 Aug., off Cadiz, 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, sailed 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, Superbe, Bellona, Defence, Audacious, Caroline, 44, Thames, 32, and Peterell, 18, all well equipped and in high spirits.

28 Sep 1801 arrived at the Motherbank for quarantine, the Venerable, and the Russel, having departed from Sir J. Saumarez's squadron, off Cadiz, 2 Sep.

30 Sep 1801 released from quarantine and presumably departed the Motherbank, off Ryde, IoW, for Spithead.

2 Oct 1801 came into Portsmouth harbour.

Circa 26 Dec 1801 Lieutenant James Lillycrap, late First Lieutenant of the Venerable, 74 gun, Captain Hood, is made a Commander.

14 Nov 1802 the Venerable, 74, which has been in dock, and had a thorough repair, is ordered to be commissioned at Portsmouth, and Captain Searle is appointed to command her.

19 Nov 1802 the Venerable, 74, was commissioned at Portsmouth on Thursday by Captain Searle.

22 Nov 1802 Mr. Allen, late of the Ramillies, is appointed Surgeon of the Venerable.

27 Dec 1802 remains in Portsmouth harbour, Capt Searle.

23 Jan 1803 remains in Portsmouth harbour, fitting out.

10 Mar 1803 some 500-600 pressed men were embarked on board the Venerable, lying in Portsmouth harbour.

11 Mar 1803 is getting ready to go out of harbour to Spithead.

14 Mar 1803 has gone out to Spithead.

31 Mar 1803 dropped down to St Helen's, and will depart for Cawsand Bay, Plymouth, when the wind sets fair.

1 Apr 1803 departed for Cawsand Bay.

2 Apr 1803 arrived Cawsand Bay.

15 Apr 1803 departed Cawsand Bay for Torbay, the Culloden, Venerable, Courageux, and Thunderer.

29 Apr 1803 as a result of the expected forthcoming collapse of the Treaty of Amiens, aka, Peace of Amiens, the following squadron was arriving from Cawsand Bay and slowly forming up off Brixham Quay, at Torbay, the Culloden, Neptune, Ardent, Albion, Courageux, Venerable, and Thunderer.

16 May 1803 Adm Cornwallis sailed on Monday from Torbay, with a squadron consisting of the following ships : Dreadnought, 98, Hon Adm Cornwallis, First Capt Murray, Second Capt Brace ; Neptune, 98, Capt Drury ; Albion, 74, Capt Ferrier ; Minotaur, 74, Capt Louis ; Ardent, 64, Capt Winthorp ; Culloden, 74, R.-Adm Campbell, Capt Lane ; Venerable, 74, Capt Searle ; Sceptre, 74, Capt Dickson ; Thunderer, 74, Capt Bedford ; and Russel, 74, Capt Williams. The Tonant, Malta, Spartiate, Plantagenet, Mars and Conqueror, lying in Cawsand Bay are nearly ready for sea, and want but few men to complete their complement.

5 Jun 1803 having been delayed by gales the frigate Diamond departed Spithead with R.-Adm Collingwood to join the Channel Fleet. Also went with Capt G Reynolds and Capt J A Wood, as passengers to join the Venerable and Acasta, respectively.

13 Aug 1803 arrived Cawsand Bay from off the coast of France. Date departed for Brest not known.

3 Dec 1803 arrived Cawsand Bay from off Brest, to refit.

12 Dec 1803 remained in Cawsand Bay.

Circa 13 Feb 1804 Capt B Dacres apptd to the Venerable.

Circa 18 Aug 1804 Capt Hunter, former Governor of Botany Bay, has been apptd to the Venerable.

Circa 27 Oct 1804 it is reported that the Channel Fleet : the Ville de Paris, San Josef, Prince, Prince George, Princess Royal, Temeraire, Windsor Castle, and Plantagenet had departed Torbay for their station, having being joined from Plymouth by the Britannia and Venerable.

1 Dec 1804 the Hampshire Telegraph reports that the Venerable was lost last Saturday, having got underweigh with the rest of the fleet, from Torbay, but missed stays and went ashore on a reef of sunken rocks, and bilged almost immediately. The accident is said to have occurred as the man fishing for the anchor fell overboard, and in lowering a boat to save the man, another 2 men fell overboard. The ship was then hove to, to save them, and in the dark of the night drifted on shore, and having lost way were unable to lay off shore. The Goliath, Impetueux, and cutter Frisk, rescued all the officers and men barring 8, who could not be accounted for : boats were sent from Plymouth to rescue the stores, but she was already a total loss by the time they arrived.

11 Dec 1804 a court martial was held at Portsmouth for the loss of the ship and every officer and man was acquitted, except for one man who was drunk and plundered the officers' baggage and was sentenced to receive 200 lashes.