1800 - Mutiny on board and loss of the Danať


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1800 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 34

The Phoebe had three seamen killed, or mortally wounded, and three slightly wounded ; the Heureux, 18 men killed, and 25 wounded, most of whom lost limbs. The latter was a very complete flush-decked ship, coppered and copper-fastened, highly finished, and of large dimensions, measuring 598 tons, She was therefore readily purchased for the use of the British navy, and, under the same name, became classed as a 22-gun post-ship.

On the 15th of March the British 20-gun ship Danaé, Captain Lord Proby, while watching the French fleet in Brest, became lost to the service under the following discreditable circumstances. At 9 h. 30 m. P.M., Jackson, one of the captains of the foretop, and who had been secretary to Parker in the Nore mutiny, assisted by some prisoners and a part of the crew, rushed on the quarterdeck, knocked down the master, and cut him severely over the head. They then threw him down the main hatchway, and battened down the grating, placing over it the boats, filled with shot. By this means the remainder of the crew were prevented from retaking the ship. When the mutiny broke out, all the officers, except Lord Proby, the marine-officer, and the master, were in bed. On being informed by the marine-officer of what had happened, Lord Proby attempted to get up the after hatchway, but found it already guarded by nearly 20 men. One of them cut his lordship on the head; and no possibility existed of forcing the hatchway.

Lord Proby and the marine-officer then contrived to muster about ten cutlasses, four muskets, and some pocket-pistols. These were distributed among the most trustworthy of about 40 men; who, when the business commenced, were asleep in their hammocks. The hope then was that the mutineers would be forced to keep the sea; but the wind unfortunately changed, and they were enabled the next morning, the 16th, to fetch under Fort Conquête in Camaret bay, where they anchored the ship. Jackson then sent the jollyboat on board the French 16-gun brig-corvette Colombe, at anchor in the bay; and which brig on the 14th, with a convoy under her charge, had been chased in by the Danaé herself. At 2 P.M. the first lieutenant of the Colombe, accompanied by a detachment of soldiers, went on board the Danaé, and asked Lord Proby to whom he surrendered. His lordship replied, " To the French nation, but not to mutineers." Both vessels then steered for Brest, where they arrived on the 17th, after having been chased during several hours by the frigates Anson and Boadicea, Captains Philip Charles Durham and Richard Goodwin Keats; who, deceived by Jackson's hoisting the horary and numerical signals, supposed the Danaé to be in chase of an enemy. Lord Proby had, however, thrown out of the cabin-window, and sunk with lead attached to it, the box containing the private signals.

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