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Type: Brigantine ; Armament 3
Launched : 14 Jun 1836 ; Disposal date or year : 1894
BM: 319 tons
Date detained not known : the slave vessel Little Graca, which was sent for adjudication, but was sentenced to be restored to her master.
23 Dec 1836 after a chase of 7 hours detained in latitude 23° 56' S., and longitude 16° 16' W., the Brazilian slave ship Incomprihensivel, [late Leguria, Emprendedora, Marcial], Luis Antonio de Carvalho e Castro, master, bound from Mozambique to Rio de Janeiro with 784 slaves, and was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Mixed Court of Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 17 Feb 1837 the vessel was sentenced to be condemned and 586 slaves are understood to have survived to be declared as emancipated.
West Coast of Africa circa 30 Jun 1836 it is reported that Lieutenant Roberts, Assistant Surgeon W Davies and 9 men have died as a result of the fever raging along the coast. Lieutenant Roberts was buried at Clarence Cove, Fernando Po.
Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1837 the Brig Dolphin, 3 guns, Complement: 50, was involved in combatting the Slave Trade and experienced 1 Deaths by Accident, the total No of Deaths: 12.
Cape of Good Hope 20 Jan 1837 arrived from England and reports that she captured and sent into Sierra Leone the schooner Androhina, with some 250 slaves on board, and the Incomprehensible of 560 tons, with 700 slaves, both vessels of Brazilian origin, but carrying Portuguese documents.
19 Apr 1837 detained by the Dolphin and boats' crews of the Scout in lat. 4° 8' N., long. 8° 0' E., when departing the Calebar River, the 107 ton Spanish schooner Dolores, Francisco Canal, master, with 314 slaves on board and was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 23 May 1837 sentenced to be condemned, and the 286 surviving Negroes were released, although a further 4 are reported to have died shortly afterwards.
27 May 1837 detained in lat. 3° 30' N., long. 9° 30' E., the Portuguese slave schooner Cobra de Africa aka Cobra de Africa, Antonio Joaquin da Conceiçdo, master, with a cargo of 162 slaves, who had been embarked at Bimbia, near the River Cameroons, was captured whilst en route for Havana, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, where she arrived on 14 Jun., and on 22 Jun 1837 was sentenced to be condemned, and 101 slaves being emancipated, but 6 of that number died before they were registered. The reason for the poor survival rate appears to be due to the fact that the slaves had spent 3 months in the confinement in the Barracones, prior to their embarkation, and were in a very poor condition, with 44 of the 101 slaves needing to be hospitalised on their arrival at Sierra Leone.
1 Jun 1837 detained in lat. 5° 4' N. long. 3° 25' E., in the Bight of Benin, the Portuguese slave schooner Providencia, Joaquim Martins Guimaraens, master, with 198 slaves onboard, bound from Lagos to Bahia, and was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, where she arrived on 1 July, and on 10th inst. was sentenced to be condemned, 5 slaves being reported as dying en route. The papers found when the vessel was captured gave an interesting insight into the slave trade at Lagos :
129 were embarked on account of Lial Feller and Company.
67 Negroes were embarked on account of 27 residents of Lagos, the largest shipper sending only 6 on board, whilst many only sent 1 slave.
and it was generally concluded at Sierra Leone that the widespread participation by the local population of Lagos in the slave trade would make its extinction a long term problem. To that I would add that it wasn't just particular to Lagos and the fact that there was a ready acceptance to pay for slaves at the receiving end would continue to fuel the trade, which although in a different form, could be said to still operate in many countries in West Africa and elsewhere to this day - 170 years or so later!
25 Sep 1837 detained in lat. 1° 29' N. long. 5° 56' W., when bound from the Bonny to Havana, the small Portuguese slave schooner Primoroza, Joaquim Pedro Xavier, master, with 182 slaves on board, bound from the Bonny to Havana, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, where she arrived on the 19 Oct., and on 28 Oct 1837 was sentenced to be condemned, and the surviving 136 slaves were released or emancipated, as it was termed by the court, 46 having died from disease since the vessel was captured.
Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1838 was involved in combatting the Slave Trade and 3 Deaths.
16 Nov 1838 detained in Lagos Roads the Spanish slave vessel Dos Amigos, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 28 Jan 1839 sentenced to be forfeited.
16 Nov 1838 detained the Spanish slave vessel Legeira, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 28 Jan 1839 sentenced to be forfeited.
16 Nov 1838 detained the Spanish slave vessel Victoria, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 28 Jan 1839 sentenced to be forfeited.
26 Dec 1838 detained in lat. 8° 30' 0" N. long. 13° 35' 0" W., off Sierra Leone, the Spanish slave schooner Amalia which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice at Sierra Leone and condemned. Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1839 was involved in combatting the Slave Trade and experienced 4 Deaths.
10 Jan 1839 detained in lat. 6° 8' N. long. 10° 53' W., the Spanish slave schooner Merced, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 14 Feb 1839 sentenced to be restored to her master. But see below for 17 June.
18 Feb 1839 Lisbon, has arrived off the bar, and awaits the return of the tide to come into the Tagus. 14 May 1839 boarded the American slave schooner Euphrates, Charles A. Molan, master, to check her papers regarding her nationality.
27-28 May 1839 detained at Accra the Spanish slave schooner Jack Wilding, Wm. Young, master, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 8 Jul 1839 sentenced to be condemned.
15 Jun 1839 Portsmouth, a prize to the Saracen, the slaver Golupohick arrived here Monday, under charge of Lieutenant Rowlett, late of the Dolphin. The Golupohick would appear to have been sailing under a Russian Flag, but had no Russians on board. The matter was to be taken up by the diplomats. 17-18 Jun 1839 detained in New Cestos the Spanish slave schooner Merced, Jozé Urresti, master, with 1 slave on board which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 8 Jul 1839 sentenced to be condemned.
15-17 Jun 1839 detained in lat. 5° 52' N. long. 10° W., the American slave schooner Euphrates, Charles A. Molan, master, which was sent for adjudication, but was wrongly described as Spanish, and being an American vessel the court had no authority to deal with the matter and the vessel was returned to her master.
4 Jul 1839 detained the slave vessel Carolina.
6 Jul 1839 detained in off the Banana Islands, a few miles to the south of Sierra Leone the Portuguese slave schooner Casoalidade / Casualidado, J. Antonio, master, with 88 slaves on board which was sent for adjudication to the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 16 Jul 1839 sentenced to be condemned.
12-13 Aug 1839 detained the U.S. vessel Catherine, Frederic Adolph Peterson, master, about twenty miles off the harbour of Quittah following a chase during which a number of shots were fired with a view to stopping the schooner. She was fitted out to carry slaves, and was sent to New York to be dealt with by the U.S. Courts, as she appeared to be American owned and American crewed when detained. The vessel was taken to New York and sentenced to be condemned by the U.S. Courts.
19 Aug 1839 detained in lat. 5° 50' N., long. 0° 54' E., off Cape St. Paul's the Portuguese slave brig Intrepido, J. R. de Souza, master, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 24 Sep 1839 sentenced to be condemned.
26 Aug 1839 having taken on water at Sierra Leone departed for New York for adjudication, where she was eventually condemned, date not known, however Viscount Palmerston stated, having received legal advice, that in future U.S., vessels were not to be detained, since being fitted out for the slave trade was not an offence in the USA at that date.
27 Aug 1839 detained in lat. 5° 25' N. long. 0° 50' E., off Rio Volta, the Spanish slave schooner Dos Amigos / Dous Amigos, J. A. de Silva, Captain of the Portuguese flag, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice, Sierra Leone, and on 24 Sep 1839 sentenced to be condemned.
Circa 10 Oct 1839 the Catherine is reported to have arrived at New York and was to be investigated by a U.S. Circuit Court under Justice Kirtland.
26 Dec 1839 seized the slave vessel Amalia.
Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1840 was involved in combatting the Slave Trade and 1 Death caused by Accident: Total No of Deaths: 2.
7 Feb 1840 bounties due for the capture of the Dos Amigos, Legeira, and Victoria, captured 16 Nov 1838 and Amalia, captured 26 Dec 1838 about to be distributed, can be viewed in the Registry of the High Court of Admiralty.
18 Apr 1840 expected at Spithead from Chatham about the 22d inst., on her way to the Cape and the West African station. 9 May 1840 Portsmouth following the recent collision between the Dolphin, 3, and the Braganza steam-vessel an official inquiry has fixed the blame on the latter, which will cost the owners of the Braganza about £70. 16 May 1840, Portsmouth, the damage received from the Braganza running on board her having been repaired, she is now ready for sea and sails Monday for the African station, with despatches for St. Helena, to permit the French Government to exhume the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte for burial in France. 8 Jul 1840 arrived St Helena with approval to release Napoleon's body to the French. 11 Jul 1840 Lieutenant Edward Holland, (late of the Dolphin), promoted to the rank of Commander. 17 Sep 1840 captured the American ship James, of New York, with $17,000 on board, and fitted for the slave trade. She has been sent to Sierra Leone for condemnation. 23 Oct 1840 Sierra Leone the Wolverine, Dolphin, and Termagant have each sent in prizes, the Dolphin's prize is a large American bark, taken at St. Helena for having slave equipment, and in British waters. 16 Dec 1840 is reported to have called at Cape Coast Castle. Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1841 was involved in combating the Slave Trade and experienced 2 Deaths in Action and 1 by Accident: Total No of Deaths: 17.
30 May 1841 detained off Elmina Quita, Whydah, by the ship's boats following a fierce resistance when 2 of the Dolphin's seamen were killed and 4 wounded, the Brazilian slave brigantine Firme, S. de Britto, master, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 8 Jul 1841 sentenced to be condemned. See p. 305 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow The report includes the deaths, whilst taking the Firme, of the bowman of the gig, A.B. William Allen, and the bowman of the cutter, A.B. William Jacobs. Mr. Augustus Charles Murray, Mate, was promoted to Lieutenant ; John Fletcher Rees, Second Master, was promoted to Master ; and John Smith, able seaman, to receive a Boatswain's warrant - on their passing the required examinations for their respective ranks. See www.gazettes-online.co.uk of 2 Nov 1841. 17 July 1844 prize money due for payment. The Hampshire Telegraph of 11 Nov 1841 reports that both seamen who died were allotting half of their pay in order to maintain either a family or elderly parents and it was hoped that the Admiralty would bestow some consideration on behalf of the brave and deserving seamen !
5 Jun 1841 arrived British Accra. 6 Jun 1841 detained at Accra the Brazilian slave polacca Nova Fortuna, F. J. da Rocha, master, which was sent for adjudication to the British and Brazilian Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone, and on 20 Jul 1841 sentenced to be condemned.
7 Jun 1841 departed Accra on her cruise. 3 July 41 detained the slave vessel Doris, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone and sentenced to be condemned. 17 July 1844 the proceeds arising due for payment.
8 Aug 1841 arrived Accra from a cruise, and departed again on the 10th. 6 Nov 1841 Mate Augustus Charles Murray (1835) promoted to Lieutenant. Second Master John Fletcher Rees promoted to Master. Circa 12 Dec 1841 at Cape Coast Castle, and subsequently departed on a cruise. Sep 1841 cruising off the mouth of the river Niger, took the sick from the Niger Expedition on board for Ascension to transfer to the Horatio transport, bound for England. 7 May 1842 Lt Cumberland of the Madagascar in command pro tem, departed Princes Island for Cape St Pauls, whilst Cdr Bisson of the Dolphin took passage to the sick quarters at Ascension in the Termagant, and even on his arrival there it was reported that the Atlantic air and temperatures had much improved his health. Cdr Littlehales, late of the Dolphin went home to England in the Termagant, with Lt. Woodhouse of the Madagascar.
22 May 1842 Act Lieut O. Cumberland wrote to Capt Tucker from lat 5° 31' S ; lon 1° 47' E. That at daylight yesterday 21 May, in lat 6° 9' S ; lon 2° 12' E., the Iris was observed to be about 13 to 14 miles to the N.E., as a schooner [later to be confirmed as the Illinois], was observed 7 to 8 miles to windward, and made all sail in chase and continued to gain fast, and at 9.30 a.m. hoisted my ensign and pendant. At about 10.00 the chase hoisted American colours, at 10.30, being still to windward, about a mile distant, bore up, apparently for the anchorage at Whydah. When amongst the shipping she was boarded by one or two, and pulled after by several large canoes, the chase without waiting or shortening sail ran straight on shore, in the surf her mainmast fell by the board. It was observed that several people from the shore came to her assistance and that a large body of slaves were landed from the vessel. I anchored HM brigantine under my command as soon as possible, but not fetching so far to the wreck, at an avoidable long distance, I immediately commenced firing on each side of the vessel, that I might not kill or wound any of the slaves which might have been left on board, and to prevent her being plundered, that, if possible, I might ascertain her nationality, whilst not having slaves on board, a fact I consider of the greatest importance to the suppression of the Slave Trade, during the present state of feeling respecting the right of searching vessels suspected being engaged in the Slave Trade ; the American ensign under which the above mentioned vessel was sailing was the sole and only cause of my not securing those unhappy negroes from slavery, she having been in range of the Dolphin's guns, for upwards of half an hour, and nothing but the strictest injunctions I have received regarding American vessels prevented my firing, and thereby obliging her to round to before the captain could effect his purpose of running her on shore. Immediately after anchoring I sent my boats away armed under the charge of Mr Cockraft, mate, to reconnoitre and report to me if any steps could be taken to board the vessel through the heavy surf. At 11.45 a.m. the boats returned to the ship not being able to approach near a cable's length, I immediately weighed, and again anchored, further to windward, in 6 fathoms, distant about ¾ of a mile from the wreck. Agreeably to your wishes and instructions, ie of Capt Tucker, I sent my Kroomen, who volunteered to board the wreck, by swimming through the surf, to endeavour to find, to being me, any slaves which may have been left on board and all papers and ensigns. 15 Kroomen, the whole of my complement, volunteered to perform the service, which at 2 p.m. I sent in my boats, armed, in charge of Mr Cockraft, immediately our Kroomen were seen to land, large bodies of natives armed with musquetry assembled and approached the wreck. Agreeably to your instructions the guns of the Dolphin immediately opened fire with round and twice with grape shot (the latter falling short), on these armed bodies and from the skilfull gunnery displayed, succeeded in keeping them off, which before several discharges were fired at the boats anchored at the outer edges of the surf and the Kroomen on and about the wreck, and I am happy to say without effect. On my orders being sent to Mr Cockraft at 3 p.m., to immediately bring back the Kroomen, great difficulty was found in getting them through the surf, and they were each all safe on board until about 7.45 p.m., three of whom being inexpert swimmers and from their frequent and futile exertions to gain the boats became quite exhausted and spent. I feel it my duty to state I consider myself and service greatly indebted to Mr Cockraft, persevering exertions, who notwithstanding the boats having been drifted by the surf and from other circumstances from under the immediate cover of the Dolphin's guns, darkness having come on, together with the natives continually firing (who were emboldened by the darkness), succeeded in getting a deep sea lead line on shore and pulling them through the surf, although at the imminent peril of dragging the boat's grapnel (a gig), and running himself and crew in the breakers, and I have no hesitation in stating that he saved those crew's lives from the highly excited natives, they in all probability, had they been left, could have been murdered by them. I have further to inform you I was exceedingly cautious in firing amongst those bodies of natives only who were armed, on observing myself, and it being reported to me from the mast head that armed natives were assembled for their protection at the back of the huts, from which they were firing on the Kroomen, and did not hesitate to fire through the huts whenever I saw armed men so assembled in accordance with your directions to endeavour render the wreck of no further possible service to the Slave Trade. I so far succeeded as to put a fire shot through her hull, which together with her being nearly high and dry, and a heavy surf beating the outside of her, will in my opinion render it impossible to make any further use of her. The papers which I succeeded in saving consisted of a log book, in printed form and in Spanish ; a rough work navigation book also in Spanish ; which I have the honor to enclose for inspection, as also a copy of a letter I sent the following day to Mr de Souza, principal slaves agent at Whydah, which I hope will meet with your approbation and approval…I have &c. Lieut O. Cumberland. FO 84-442 Admiralty Letters 1842 Nov, free from National Archives
29 May 1842 detained, after a chase of 12 hours, at 9 p,m., off Great Popoe, the Portuguese slave brig Minerva, with a crew of 24, fully equipped for the Slave Trade, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone and sentenced to be condemned. 11 Apr 1844 proceeds arising due for payment.
17 Aug 1842 the Admiralty forwarded correspondence to the Foreign Office, from Commander Littlehales regarding the detention of the US barque Jones by the Dolphin for being engaged in the Slave Trade &c., and subsequent accusations made by the officers and crew of that vessel. See p 224 of FO 84-440 Admiralty Letters 1842 July-Aug available for free download from the National Archives.
26 Nov 1842 the Secretary of the Admiralty, Sir Jno Barrow, writes to Viscount Canning, at the Foreign Office, enclosing warrants from the French Government, which were supplied to HM ships Southampton, Dolphin, Curlew, Warspite, Arrow, Lily, and Spitfire, to enable them to act under the convention with France for the suppression of the Slave Trade, which the Earl of Aberdeen will return to France to be cancelled.
26 Nov 1842 and ditto for the Danish Government, for the Southampton, Warspite, Pickle, Lily, Dolphin, Pickle, Curlew, Racehorse, and Spitfire, ditto to the Danish Government to be cancelled.
19 Nov 1842 arrived Spithead from the Coast of Africa and Ascension (14 Oct) ; St Michael's (9 Nov). Her Commanding Officer Lt Bisson died circa 14 Oct.
22 Nov 1842 came into harbour from Spithead to be paid off.
11 Nov 1843 detained off Corma Sound, about 120 miles from Rio de Janeiro, a slave brig, Name Unknown, with 569 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope, and sentenced to be condemned.
18 Dec 1843 detained the slave vessel Zulmira, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at British Guiana and on 6 May 1844 sentenced to be condemned.
29 Dec 1843 detained the slave vessel Maria da Gloria, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at British Guiana, and was sentenced to be restored to her Master.
29 Dec 1843 detained the slave vessel Maria Theresa, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at British Guiana and on 6 May 1844 sentenced to be restored to her Master.
14 Jun 1844 at Rio de Janeiro.
Aug 1845 - Jun 1846, operations with the French, against renegade Uruguayan, Oribe, and Don Juan Manuel de Rosas, up the River Parana. See p. 336-345 at at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
17 Oct 1845-46 paid to the officers and crew £408 18s. 9d. Expenses incurred on account of the brig Little Grace at Sierra Leone, and in this country, on appeal before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
9 January 1845-46 paid to the officers and crew £17 11s. 10d. for expenses incurred in prosecuting the Maria Theresa, for slave trading at Rio de Janeiro and Demerara.
1846 South America and River Plate Station.
14 Jun 1848 detained the Brazilian brig Il Pensamento. 3 Jul 1850 proceeds arising due for payment.
24 Apr 1848 Grappler and Dolphin detained the slave vessel Secunda Andorinha, with 501 slaves on board, which was sent for adjudication to the Vice-Admiralty Court at Sierra Leone, and sentenced to be condemned. 20 Mar 1850 proceeds arising due for payment.
Jun-Jul 1848 off the Slave Coast (Sierra Leone). See the vessel Amphitrite for article from the Morning Chronicle, for 11 Sep 1848.
30 Aug 1851 Coast of Africa
19 Jun 1852 encounter with negro pirates or slavers in the river Congo - see p. 394 at www.archive.org/details/royalnavyhistory06clow
1861 Customs Watch Vessel
1870 Watch Vessel, (lent to Customs)
1879 Watch Vessel, (lent to Customs), Gravesend
1890 Watch Vessel, (lent to Customs), Gravesend