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Type: Schooner ; Armament 3
Disposal date or year : 27 Feb 1835
Disposal Details : Wrecked off British Honduras
Portsmouth 6 Sep 1829 By the Druid, arrived from Jamaica, the Firefly was at Bermuda.
Bermuda 4 Oct 1829 Sailed for Jamaica.
Jamaica 15 Oct 1829 Arrived from Bermuda.
1830 Operating from Jamaica. Lieut. Jas. Julius McDonnell
5 Jan 1832 The Captain of the Blanche writes from Montego-Bay, Jamaica, that when he arrived the Racehorse and Sparrowhawk were here and that the Blossom was at Savannah la Mar ; the Firefly at Black River, and Champion at Port Antonio, and that the insurrection is now coming under control. See London Gazette of 22 Feb 1832, P 18, for more detail @ www.gazettes-online.co.uk/.
5 Jan 1833 fitting out at Woolwich for sea.
1 Jan 1834 On the North America and West Indies Station.
Barbadoes 5 Feb 1834 is reported to be at Port Royal.
25 May 1834 detained in lat. 20° 45' N., lon. 83° 40' W., off the Isle of Pines, Cuba, en route from a point some 80 miles to the north of Loanda to Havana the Portuguese slave schooner Despiche, Master Jozé Maria de Oliveira, with 215 slaves on board, which was taken to and condemned at the British and Portuguese Court of Mixed Commission, Sierra Leone on 1 Sep 1834, the surviving 205 slaves having been landed at Nassau to be emancipated.
31 May 1834 arrived Havannah with the Despiche.
3 June 1834 sailed for Nassau, having remained for want of water.
June 1835 We have the painful intelligence to communicate to our readers, of the loss of H. M. schoouer Firefly, and eleven persons. From the few particulars yet known of this melancholy event, it appears that the vessel was wrecked on the Triangles, a dangerous reef on the coast of Yucatan, the nearest part of which is 70 miles to the northward of Belize. A raft was constructed, from which the crew and their commander, with the exception of a party who took the Firefly's gig, landed on the adjacent coast, and succeeded in reaching Belize. Lieut. McDonald, however, the commander, was unable to keep company with them, being much exhausted by exertion and previous illness, and was left by his people on the coast - a circumstance which to us is quite inexplicable. However, on their reaching Belize, notwithstanding the very faint hopes of finding him alive, a boat was sent to seek for him by the governor, Colonel Cockburn, and he was happily discovered on Ambergris Cay, and conveyed to Belize. It appears that he was unable to proceed further than this place, and, previous to being found by the boat, had received very kind treatment from some Spaniards who had accidentally visited that Cay.
The party which took the gig were unhappily all drowned; they consisted of Mr. Lockyer, mate, the assistant surgeon, and six men of the Firefly, with Capt. West of the engineers, his son and servant, making in all eleven persons. The Nautical Magazine. The above store appears to be a bit garbled : for a more accurate report of what happened see the letter dated Belize, 20 Mar 1835, in the subsequent edition of the Nautical Magazine
17 Aug 1835 the surviving officers and ratings were Court Martialled on board the Victory at Portsmouth for the loss of the Firefly, and were acquitted, however the abandoning of Lieut. McDonald by Mr. Malcolm, and men with him, was noted, as was the praiseworthy action of Master's Assistant Mr. Nops of saving the surviving members of the ship's company and rescuing Lieut. McDonald was also noted.