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Type: Sloop ; Armament 4
Launched at Chatham : 7 Sep 1839 ;
Disposal date or year : 1865
BM: 796 tons ; Displacement: 878 tons
Machinery notes : 200 h.p.
2 Nov 1839 Second Master and Pilot P. B. Roberts, appointed to the Alecto steam vessel.
2 Nov 1839 Portsmouth The steam-vessel Alecto has been put into commission; she. is at present in the City Canal.
14 Dec 1839 Portsmouth is expected here to-morrow from the river, on her way to Lisbon and the Mediterranean.
11 Jan 1840 Malta, came in Monday night, bringing supernumerary officers and seamen for the squadron from England, last from Gibraltar, whence she sailed on the evening of the 2d instant.
11 Mar 1840 at Malta.
25 June 1840 on her arrival at Alexandria with the London mails of the 4th of July, will proceed to Beyrout for the expected mail from India, via the Persian Gulf, returning to Alexandria to take up the one coming by the Red Sea. The same course will be pursued for the conveyance of the mails by these routes in August.
11 Jul 1840 Mr. Conquer, clerk-in-charge of the Confiance, has exchanged ships with Mr. Cole clerk-in-charge of the Alecto.
31 Aug 1840 Malta, proceeded with mails for the Ionian Islands and Greece.
31 Oct 1840 at Malta.
28 Jan 1841 Malta, sailed with mail for Marseilles.
12 Feb 1841, Malta, arrived from Marseilles.
11 Mar 1841, Malta, returned from Syracuse.
10 Apr 1841, Master Roberts, from Alecto, appointed to the Wasp, vice Aylen.
25 Jun 1841, at Malta.
7 Aug 1841, Engineer William Jerry, appointed to Alecto.
30 Sep 1841, sailed from Malta, for Marseilles.
5 Dec 1841, at Malta.
Jan 1846 - Jun 1846, operations with the French, against renegade Uruguayan,
Oribe, and Don Juan Manuel de Rosas, up the River Parana. See p. 343-345 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
20 Dec 1848 SE Coast of America
30 Aug 1851 Coast of Africa
6 Dec 1851 whilst cruizing off Cape Lopez observed a large launch under sail which, following a chase, was brought to. She was found to have 64 slaves on board, with a crew of 5, and had been swamped. The Negroes and her crew were transferred to the Alecto and the vessel, having been found unseaworthy and condemned, was destroyed. While at St. Thomas' the master and crew declared themselves to be Portuguese and were permitted to go ashore with the captain of the port.
30 Dec 1851 at Sea. At the time of writing one of the female slaves has died.
28 Dec 1852 prepared the ships' boats and their crews (of the Alecto and Britomart), for a cruise of the Lagoon off Lagos.
29 Dec 1852 the boats crossed the bar off Lagos, and headed for Okobo, up the Badagry Creek. Held meeting with Chiefs in the region.
1 Jan 1853 departed Badagry and sailed for Porto Novo and had much palaver with the local kings and chiefs, which continued here and there for some days.
7 Jan 1853 returned to respective ships.
10 Oct 1853 the boats of the Polyphemus, Waterwitch, and Alecto crossed the bar to Lagos where they were joined by African warriors before sailing for Eginna in order to destroy the slave market set up by Kosoko. 2 men from the Alecto died during the operation. A List of the force Employed against Kosoko at Eppi, on the Lagos River, on the 11th and 12th October, 1853, with a return of the Killed and Wounded.
||Acting Lieutenant H. Moore.
||Henry Leese, Boatswain's Mate
||Mr. Robt. B. Cay
||Wm. Taylor, Blacksmith
||Wm. Cole, Mariner (slightly).
||Lieutenant J. D. McCrea.
||James Fenn, Ordinary (dangerously).
29 Jan 1854 Commander Crofton reports to the British Commissioner that he discovered a vessel fully equipped for the slave trade, secreted at Pirate's Creek in the River Congo, which the natives say had slaves embarked until the arrival of the Alecto. Since it was not possible to float the vessel off, no papers or documents could be found, nor flags or ensigns, and as armed natives were making hostile demonstrations, it was decided to burn the vessel. The matter was adjudicated on 4 Aug 1854 and a distribution of the proceeds arising commenced 30 Jun 1856.
19 Sep 1855 Departed England for the West Coast of Africa for anti-slavery duties.
24 Nov 1856 sailed for the Congo calling at Ambriz en route. Arriving at the Congo I spoke with the Sappho and then returned to cruize off Snake Head.
14 Dec 1856 some 15 miles off shore boarded the brigantine Ellen of New York, who declined to open his hatches, but over heard a conversation which suggested that the vessel was probably involved in the slave trade and informed the commanding officers of the Sappho and Teazer off Ambriz on 23 Dec.
15 Jan 1857 off the Congo.
22 Aug 1857 sent the pinnace under the command of Master's Assistant Thomas Coates away off Point Padron to cruise off Cabinda where an American barque was boarded and her papers were in order. Whilst there it was noted that the baracoons were full of slaves and preparations were being made to put them on board the vessel that had just been boarded, as volunteered by several of the local canoe-men.
23 Aug 1857 Mr. Coates boarded an American schooner, whose papers were also correct.
24 Aug 1857 Mr. Coates observed a sail off Molembo which was chased and came up with her after a few hours, in Lat. 5° 30' S. Long. 11° 45' E., and found her to be the brigantine Eliza Jane, per her quarter boards, but on boarding her master was unable to produce any papers and declined to answer any questions, so in accordance with instructions the vessel was taken to Loango where it arrived on 26 Aug.
27 Aug 1857 The Alecto arrived off Loango to find the brigantine Ellen Jane awaiting the inspection of the commanding officer on suspicion of being involved in the slave trade and on examining the vessel it was agreed that she appeared to be a lawful prize and was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court, Sierra Leone, and on 28 Sep 1857 was sentenced to be forfeited.
29 Aug 1857 a Cabinda boat with no name was detained off Whydah and destroyed.
2 Sep 1857 in lat. 5° 30' S. long. 12° l0' E., in Cabinda Bay, one of the ship's boats chased the slave schooner Name Unknown, supposed Restauracion, which was run ashore but her crew. The vessel was eventually got off, and a search showed she was fitted out for the slave trade, and in addition the sum of $6,000 was found. She was sent to the Vice Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone for adjudication and sentenced on 24 Nov 1857 to be forfeited.
13 Sep 1857 chased and boarded a brigantine, supposed Onward, of Boston, who had inadequate papers and no Americans on board. The wind having dropped the Onward accepted a tow to St Paul de Loanda. In the afternoon suspicions were aroused regard what was happening on board the Onward so stopped the engines and went on board to see that fresh water casks were having salt added. Having been caught in the act the Master, W. P Seymour, admitted that he was the navigator, and so detained, in Lat. 7° 29' S. Long. 11° 41' E., at Cabeca de Cobra the Onward, W. P. Seymour, master, for being involved in the Slave Trade. The vessel was therefore sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone and on 22 Oct 1857 was sentenced to be forfeited.
13 Sep 1857 Mr. Furneaux, the boatswain, whilst carrying out boardings of vessels in Loango Bay per the instructions of the Commodore of the squadron, boarded the brig Merle, which was not wearing the colours of her nationality, and it being noted that a notorious slave dealer had just left the vessel she was boarded accordingly and eventually discovered that the vessel should have been wearing French colours. The captain appears to have been ashore and was not best pleased to find a British boarding party on board and complained to the the French authorities regarding this incident. Please note that one could examine a US or French ship's papers, but not anything else, such as her hold or its contents. In this case it would appear that the RN officers felt that the Captain of the brig Merle was unable to understand what the boarding officer was saying and decided it was a poor attempt on the part of the French to make a mountain out of a molehill. There is much more to this story on-line in parliamentary papers for 1859 respecting the slave trade. Stoker James Painter, Ordinary Seaman Alfred Richards, and Thomas Hasell were a part of the boarding party and were interviewed regarding what took place when they went on board the Merle.
19 Sep 1857 reports to Rear Admiral Grey, Flag Officer, on board the Castor, in the River Congo, that a large slave ship, said to be the Charles, had been driven ashore by her crew, whilst being chased, near Snake's Head. Commodore Wise, in the Vesuvius, was sent to the assistance of the Sappho and returned later the same day with 311 slaves rescued from the wreck.
13 Oct 1857 in Cabinda Bay, detached to order the Sappho to join the Commodore in the Vesuvius in Cabinda Bay.
15 Oct 1857 the Alecto and Scourge detained the slave schooner Louis McLane, W. H. Hinckley, master, off Kilongo, a short distance to the north of the River Congo, condemned at the Vice Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone 26 Nov 1857.
26 Oct 1857 detained the slave barque Clara B. Williams, Michell Conzuley, master, in Lat. 4° 8' S. Long. 11° 0' E., condemned in the Vice Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone 21 Nov 1857.
29 Oct 1857 anchored at Medora Creek and allowed the ship's boats to take the crew of the Clara B. Williams up to Punta de Lenha where evidence was gained that the brigantine Windward and barque W.G. Lewis were preparing to ship slaves. I departed the river on the 30th and steered to the southward to deceive the slave dealers look-outs, and then, having banked the fires sailed to where we hoped to intercept the slave ships, one being sighted on the 3rd Nov.
4 Nov 1857 following a chase of 12 hours, when she eventually hove-to, detained the slave Brigantine Lucia, alias Windward, of New Orleans, initially with 690 slaves on board, in Lat. 5° 15' S., long. 7° 10' E., which was condemned on 22 Nov 1857, in the Vice-Admiralty Court at St. Helena.
16 Nov 1857 arrived at St. Helena with the Lucia, supposed to be Windward, of New Orleans, with 603 slaves on board, of whom 149 had died during the passage due to over-crowding etc. It wasn't possible to land the negroes until 18th due to the state of the surf.
13 Mar 1858 the North Division, on the West Coast of Africa: following a visit by the Flag Officer he stated that there is no reason to believe that the Slave Trade is now carried on, though it would be imprudent to give up the watching of the river between the Gambia and Sierra Leone. The report brought to the latter place of a vessel having arrived in, the Pongas to ship slaves, appears to have been unfounded. The chief duties of the squadron on that coast will therefore be the general protection of British interests, and for that service I have allotted the Childers, Alecto, Trident, and Spitfire, directing Commander Hickley, the senior officer, to station one of them in the Gambia.
15 Apr 1858 detained a slave Schooner, Name Unknown, 120 tons, supposed St. Olaf, about 4 miles off Cape Verga. Her papers and flag having been thrown overboard and being fitted out for the slave trade was sent for adjudication to the Vice Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone, where she was condemned on 27 Apr 1858. 20 Sep 1859 proceeds received, and tonnage bounty awarded London Gazette due for payment.
7 May 1858 departed Sierra Leone for the northward.
8 May 1858, evening, boarded the US merchant vessel Caroline, a suspected slave vessel and subsequently towed the vessel to Sierra Leone with a view to confirming her nationality, much to the consternation of the Commodore on the West Coast of Africa, who subsequently had to produce a report, not to hand, for the Admiralty. But as the Commodore stated, this sort of thing will keep happening whilst the US maintains its present attitude to the slave trade, with even legal traders "endeavouring to entrap RN officers into some act which may tend to place them in an awkward position" say by altering course when sighting an RN cruiser, not heaving-to or showing her colours till chased for many miles at the cost of much fuel, and then wondering why they are perhaps then treated in a less than friendly manner when boarded to have their papers examined !
5 Jun 1858 arrived at Gallinas, where slave trading is reported to have been re-activated. 2 of the ship's boats were lowered under the command of Lt. Walker and Mr. Boatswain Furneaux, who reconnoitered the islands and lagoons in the area, but found nothing, which was confirmed by the natives, who stated that no Europeans had been there for 4 years, but that about a day's boat journey away at Kittymar there were said to be some white men. The Alecto then continued along the coast, with the boats in shore, but the surf was too heavy to hear what the natives were reporting.
12 Aug 1858 a report from the Childers now advises that the barracoons were being rebuilt at Gallinas and that 2 slave ships were supposed to be waiting for their cargoes.
15 Oct 1858 departed Sierra Leone for Gallinas.
17 Oct 1858 arrived at Gallinas and joined the Spitfire, some 10 miles to the south of Gallinas.
19 Oct 1858 Thomas Cole, King of Manna Rock came on board for a palaver.
20 Oct 1858 went ashore to meet Thomas Cole, and other Chiefs from the region regarding breaches of their Treaty with England, by dealing in slaves again. Over the following days much else was discussed including the presence of the so-called French emigration ships, which the Chiefs suggested were a part of the problem, and were little better than slave ships. The chiefs agreed to abide by the Treaty.
6 Nov 1858 off the Solyman River.
13 Nov 1858 off Manna Rock. Lieutenant Walker went with the Attorney General of Liberia to the French emigrant ship Phoenix, which refused to allow them on board in order to transmit a message from the Liberian government to the Master of the Phoenix. Returning to the Alecto to seek guidance from Cdr Hunt, they returned to the Phoenix with an armed crew and stated that he intended to board to inspect the ship's papers to ensure that it was entitled to the French flag, and was able to board and the papers checked. On being allowed to see the slaves the Attorney General, Colonel Payne, recognised one young man as being an apprentice who worked for a relative, who, it was discovered, had been sold by Thomas Cole on 2 occasions : firstly to the master of the so-called French emigrant ship Regina Coeli, on board of which the slaves had mutinied and murdered most of the crew, and secondly to the current master M. Chevalier, of the Phoenix, who had been so reluctant to permit the party from the government and the Alecto to board in the first instance. On the payment of £6, the fee charged by Cole, the lad was returned to Colonel Payne and returned ashore with the party.
13 Nov 1858 5.30 p.m. Out pinnace. Left pinnace, manned and armed, in the charge of Mr. Farquharson, Mate, to cruise between Gallinas and Manna.
13 Nov 1858 7.30 p.m. Weighed and proceeded under steam to Monrovia.
14 Nov 1858 in Mesurado Roads. Commander James Hunt exchanges correspondence with the Monrovian government and observes and describes further violations of Monrovian laws and territory by an unnamed French vessel, presumably the Phoenix, who, in breach of Monrovian law, are embarking natives for their so-called emigrant ship, and are not telling the full story regarding their future etc., in that they may well be treated the same as slaves when the get down to the South Coast and start embarking slaves from the Congo, and that their diet on the ship will leave them hungry, if not starving, one of the reasons for the mutiny by the slaves, oops ! emigrants.... ¶ , on board the Regina Coeli, where some are said to have died from starvation and why they were sufficiently incensed to murder the crew. He also advises the President of Liberia that the Alecto is due to sail for Sierra Leone on Tuesday, following which she will be returning to England. Cdr Hunt then goes on to describe the various breaches by Thomas Cole, King of Manna Rock, and other chiefs, who have committed theft, confinement ; the sale of slaves ; and are contemptuous of any threat of punishment by the British authorities.
¶ It was noted that the last 8 slaves taken on board the Phoenix stated that they had been bound hand and foot when brought down to the beach to be handed over to the French Captain......yes I think slaves is a more suitable term.
Later, after the event, on 11 Mar 1859, the Commodore in the Vesuvius, writes to the Secretary of the Admiralty regarding the boarding of the French emigrant vessel Phoenix by Commander Hunt of the Alecto and a discussion he has had with Commodore Protet, in charge of French Naval forces on the station.
15 Nov 1858 Cdr. James seeks advice and guidance from the more experienced US Captain of the USS Niagara regarding the so-called French emigrant ships, and discovers that they appear have similar views on the subject, although the problem will have to be resolved by their respective governments.
17 Nov 1858 departed Monrovia.
19 Nov 1858 arrived Sierra Leone.
25 Nov 1858 departed for England.
5 Dec 1858 forwards a letter from the Governor of Sierra Leone to the Secretary of the Admiralty regarding the Alecto's temporary detention of the Caroline, following which she towed the American brig Caroline to Sierra Leone, thus more than making up for the time she was detained.
24 Dec 1858 returned to England from the West Coast of Africa.
Year ending 31 Dec 1858 suffered 227 cases of sickness during the year. In addition, 1 officer and 1 rating died and 1 officer and 1 rating were invalided back to England.
31 Dec 1858 at Sheerness. Responds to further aggravating correspondence regarding the Caroline, and the apparent lies therein, and points out a familiar discrepancy regarding who actually was the master on board the Caroline at that time, in the light of subsequent correspondence which appears to contradict the facts noted at the time of the incident.
17 Jan 1859 at Woolwich, where Commander Hunt is Senior Officer of the Yard, in the absence of the Commodore Superintendent of the Yard. Writing to the Secretary of the Admiralty again, a longish letter merely confirming much of what has already been stated in earlier correspondence regarding the Caroline and the fraudulent claim by her owners for damages, supported by a detailed letter from the Governor of Sierra Leone.
21 Feb 1860 departed England for the West Coast of Africa for anti-slavery duties.
15 Aug 1860 detained in the River Cameroons the Monte Videan slave barque Constantia / Constancia, late White Cloud, which was sent to Sierra Leone for adjudication, and sentenced to be condemned on 29 Oct 1860.
Year ending 31 Dec 1860 suffered 204 cases of sickness during the year and 2 ratings were invalided back to England.
11 Jul 1861 detained in Lat. 8° 40' S., long. 13° 11' E. a slave brigantine Name Unknown, supposed Nympha. 31 Mar 1863 distribution of the tonnage bounty and proceeds of a slave brigantine captured on the 11 Jul 1861, will commence on 9 Apr 1863.
Year ending 31 Dec 1861 suffered 295 cases of sickness during the year, in addition, 2 ratings died and 7 were invalided back to England.
10 Jun 1862 returned to England from the West Coast of Africa : suffered 122 cases of sickness to date, this year, and 1 rating invalided back to England.
23 Jan 1863 Woolwich. Commissioned.
Woolwich 2 Feb 1863 Removed from the fitting basin, in readiness for the SE coast of America, to relieve the Ardent.
Woolwich 12 Feb 1863 Now ready for sea, having received her ship's company from the receiving ship.
14 Feb 1863 Has sailed down river on her trial trip, and returned to the buoy off the Royal Arsenal to take on board powder, prior to being adjusted for sea at Greenhithe, where she will perform her compass swing.
17 Feb 1863 She is to have four of her boats were fitted with Clifford's lowering gear and three with the Kynaston's hooks to effect an official trial.
1864 on the South East Coast of America. Report of fever onboard : number of Cases of Disease and Injury.