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Type: 5th rate ; Armament 38
Built : in the King's Yard at Chatham: 1799 ;
Disposal date or year : 1860
BM : 1058 tons
1799 The replacement of long-guns by carronades meant that the Active, originally designed as a 38 gun frigate, was to be armed with additional carronades, making a total of 46 guns, thus making a nonsense of the current rating system.
Circa Jan 1800 Captain C. Danvers, son of the Baronet, is appointed to the Active frigate.
9 Apr 1800 Portsmouth, arrived the Active, with a large convoy from the Downs; among which were a number of ships bound to the West Indies, Oporto, and the Mediterranean.
7 May 1800 Portsmouth, departed the Active, and Weazle, with sealed orders.
20 May 1800 Portsmouth, arrived the Achilles, Active, and Megaera, from Torbay,
22 Jun 1800 Portsmouth, the Active, 36, with a convoy of outward bound East India ships have gone down to St. Helen’s, from whence they will sail as soon when the wind allows.
28 Jun 1800 Portsmouth, departed the Active, 38, with the Lord Walsingham, Earl Spencer, Melville Castle, Herculean, Skelton CastIe, and Tellicherry, Cornwallis, extra ship, and Margaret brig East Indiamen under convoy.
Circa 1 Sep 1800 Captain Giffard, pro tempore, is appointed to command the Active, in place of Captain Davers, who is indisposed.
9 Sep 1800 Portsmouth, arrived the Endymion, and Active, from a cruise.
15 Oct 1800 Portsmouth, departed the Active, on a cruise.
29 Oct 1800 Portsmouth departed the Cambrian, 40 ; San Fiorenzo, 40 ; Active, 38 ; and Harpy, of 32, on a cruise.
9 Nov 1800 Portsmouth, arrived the Active, 38, from a cruise.
19 Nov 1800 Portsmouth, departed the Active, and Constance brig, Lt Wright, for Jersey.
21 Dec 1800 Portsmouth, arrived the Active and Harpy from a cruise.
30 Dec 1800 departed Spithead for the French Coast, with the Topaze, Loire and Active, in an attempt to confront a number of French frigates attempting escape Dunkirk, but due to the strong southerly wind had to put back to St. Helen's on the evening of 1 Jan.
3 Jan 1801 arrived at St. Helen's with the Loire from off Havre.
4 Jan 1801 arrived back at Spithead, from off Havre, with the Loire, the Topaze following a little later, all her masts sprung.
13 Jan 1801 departed Spithead with the Loire and Wolverene, to cruise off Havre.
25 Jan 1801 departed Spithead down Channel on a cruise.
26 Jan 1801 captured the French Cutter Privateer Le Quinola, 14 Guns, and 48 men, after a chase of 2 hours ; : had departed Molaix yesterday and not made a capture.
28 Jan 1801 arrived Spithead a French cutter privateer, of 14 guns, and 85 men, prize to the Active, after a chase of 6 hours ; she had departed St Maloes the day before, and had taken nothing.
1 Feb 1801 has relieved the Trent off Havre, now arrived Spithead.
20 Feb 1801 arrived Spithead with the Trent, Sophie, and Beaver from a cruise.
25 Feb 1801 departed Spithead with the Trent on a cruise off Havre.
19 Mar 1801 arrived Spithead with the Loire, from a cruise.
1 Apr 1801 departed Spithead on a cruise.
5 Apr 1801 arrived Spithead from a cruise.
9 Apr 1801 a Court Martial was held on board his Majesty's ship Gladiator, in Portsmouth harbour, on John King, (2d,) John Betham, John Forest, William Byrne, A.M. Scott, Henry Blake, John Farish, and John Marsh, belonging to the Active frigate, for writing anonymous letters, endeavouring to make mutinous assemblies, and for uttering seditious and mutinous words. Evidence having been examined on the part of the prosecution, and the prisoners heard in their defence, the Court, after a mature and deliberate consideration, passed the following sentence : King, to receive 500 lashes ; Betham and Forest, 300 each, and Byrne, 50, from ship to ship ; Scott and Farish, three dozen each, on board their ship. Marsh was acquitted.
9 Apr 1801 a Court Martial was held on board his Majesty's ship Gladiator, in Portsmouth harbour, A. Patterson, belonging to the Active frigate, was tried, for desertion ; and being found guilty, he was sentenced to receive fifty lashes.
1801 captured Spanish vessel "Santa Maria"
19 May 1801 Adm. Holloway transferred his flag from the Active to the Flora in the Portsmouth harbour, and then moved out of harbour to Spithead.
20 May 1801 appointed, with the Active, to take a convoy of recently arrived transports, with troops, shortly due to embark, to Egypt, some of the troops also being embarked on board the escorts.
25 May 1801 departed Spithead with the Leda, with 300 of the Guards, and $120,O00 on board, for Egypt.
28 May 1801 the Active and Leda sailed past Plymouth with troops for Egypt.
29 Dec 1801 departed Spithead to cruise off Havre.
1 Apr 1802 the centre of a diplomatic incident at Lisbon having arrived from the Mediterranean and Gibraltar but not followed the correct procedure required by a health directive, which requires all ships coming from the Mediterranean to perform quarantine, much as was the case at Spithead, when vessels were required to anchor in the Motherbank.
10 May 1802 was at Gibraltar when the Isis arrived there with HRH Duke of Kent from Falmouth.
1 Jul 1802 was reported to have gone with the Triumph to Algiers to settle a dispute with the Dey when the Pomone departed for England.
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 have both gone into the Mole to repair their damages, which are expected to cost about £5,000.
18 Oct 1802 was reported to be still at Gibraltar when the Medusa arrived from Malta.
6 Dec 1802 remains on the Mole at Gibraltar.
1 Feb 1803 the Dragon, Renown, Monmouth, Active, Greyhound, and Vincego, are reported to be lying in Gibraltar Bay.
7 Feb 1803 departed Gibraltar for Malta.
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.
Circa Oct 1803 following the news that the Agincourt had chased 2 frigates into Calvi Adm Nelson sent the frigates Active and Phoebe to Calvi, to either blockade them at Calvi or look for them if they'd departed that port.
Circa 14 Jan 1804 the Hon Capt G Elliott apptd to the Maidstone, vice Mowbray, apptd to the Active.
9 Apr 1804 while Amazon took possession of a prize-brig in-shore, Donegal and Active provided support to prevent interference from French frigates from Toulon.
6 Jan 1805 detached from the Mediterranean fleet to watch the port of Toulon.18th-19th Active and Seahorse watched the French fleet depart Toulon whilst the Mediterranean fleet was watering at Agincourt sound and rejoined the Fleet with the news. It was discovered on 14 Feb that the French fleet had returned to Toulon.
31 Mar 1805 Active and Phoebe detached to watch the French fleet depart Toulon whilst the Mediterranean fleet was victualled at Palma.
4 Apr 1805 Phoebe reported that the Toulon fleet was at sea again : the search began again. 4 May, having heard that the Toulon fleet had passed through the Straits on 8 Apl, the fleet anchored at Mazari bay to water and provision, 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.
27 Apr 1806 captured the French privateer Amis at sea.
By 2 Jan 1807 Active and Nautilus had joined the squadron under R.-adm. Sir T. Louis in Azire bay, at the western end of the Dardanells. 4th the Russian ambassador received from the Canopus and departed to Malta, arriving 31 Jan. 1 Feb V.-adm Sir J. T. Duckworth despatched the Active to Sir Thomas Louis, off the island of Tenedos, where she arrived on the 6th, to apprize him of the intended junction of Sir John and Sir Thomas' squadrons.
11 Feb-3 Mar 1807 With Sir John Duckworth on what some have described as his somewhat less than successful expedition to Constantinople. 14th anchored off Cape Janizary, ships' boats used to rescue men from the burning Ajax. 19th steered for Constantinople. 2 Mar returned to the Mediterranean.
23 Feb 1808 the Porcupine, off Corfu, observed the arrival of a French Squadron under M. Ganteaume. The following day she fell in with the Active, and until the 13 Mar, both vessels watched the movements of the French.
28 Jun 1810 Amphion, Active and Cerberus, having chased a convoy into the harbour of Groa, sent in the ships' boats, who either destroyed or brought out the ships of the convoy.
29 Sep 1810 Amphion and Active chased off Ancona by a French squadron.
9-24 Oct 1810 the Cerberus having joined the Amphion and Active on the 9th at Lissa, and the Acorn on the 12th, the squadron, went in search of the French, but had returned to Ancona.
4 Feb 1811 Cerberus and Active, whilst cruising off the north-east coast of Italy, sent the ship's boats into the port of Pescaro to cut out a number of vessels.
12 Feb 1811 Cerberus and Active, whilst cruising off the north-east coast of Italy, sent the ship's boats into the harbour of Ortona to cut out a number of vessels.
13 Mar 1811 action between the frigates Amphion, Cerberus, Active, and ship Volage, off Lissa, with a larger French frigate squadron in which the Favorite was accidentally run ashore and 2 frigates captured ; the Corona was added to the navy by the name of Daedalus and the Bellona, as the troop-ship Dover.
27 Jul 1811 off the town of Ragosniza, despatched the ship's boats to capture or destroy a convoy anchored in a creek, of which 10 vessels were burnt and 18, including 3 gun-boats, were brought out.
28 Nov 1811 leaving the ship Acorn to assist in the defence of the port, the frigates Alceste, Active, and Unité departed from Lissa in pursuit of a French frigate squadron, and following a chase captured the Pomone and the Persanne, laden with military stores etc.
Deal Aug 7 1814 arrived in 28 days from Madeira.
18 Mar 1817, Active departed Jamaica, with the Pique, and a small convoy, to Campeachy and Porto Bello, to protect them against insurgent privateers.
30 Sep 1817 came into Portsmouth harbour on Tuesday, to be paid off, having serving recently in the West Indies and on the Coast of Mexico.
11 Oct 1817 was paid off at Portsmouth on Thursday and her crew discharged.
5 Dec 1819 departed Halifax for England.
26 Dec 1819 arrived Portsmouth, from Halifax, and is to be docked having touched on a rock in the Gulf of Canso.
1 Jan 1820 the "propelling wheels" fitted are reported to have proved useful in light winds.
3 Jan 1820 Capt. James Alexander Gordon, KCB. The Active has made use of a new anchor, the invention of Mr. Kingston, of Plymouth dock-yard, with an hollow shank, and its superior properties to the common anchor are well spoken of.
13 Sep 1820, Portsmouth, to proceed to Brighton to wait on the King, but the wind failing, she remained here.
14 Sep 1820, Portsmouth, new orders issued for her and other vessels to proceed to Lisbon where it is reported that there may be some threat to life and property of British residents.
9 Oct 1821 To be fitted out to take the Earl of Chatham and suite to Gibraltar.
27 Nov 1821 At Portsmouth.
7 Jan 1822 Lieutenants Thomas Ogle, C.J. H. Johnstone, Hon. R. S. Dundas, Captain Andrew King, has been appointed to the Active
7 Mar 1822 is understood to be fitting out at Portsmouth with a view to taking the Rt. Hon. George Canning out to India, as the new Governor-Geneeral.
1 Mar 1824 departed Plymouth on Tuesday to protect the British trade in the Gut of Gibraltar (Captain A. King).
1826 Harbour Service
27 Jan 1831 prize money due for 3 Gun-Boats, captured 27 Jul 1811, due to be paid.
27 Jan 1831 prize money due for Madona D'Idra, captured 1 Apr 1807, due to be paid.
Nov 1833 Renamed Argo.
20 Dec 1848 Receiving Ship, Devonport