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Type: Storeship ; late 5th Rate ; Armament 36 per Admy Order of 17 Aug 1795 - 40 per Steele
Taken from the French by the Thetis and Hussar, off the Chesapeak 17 May 1795 ;
Disposal date or year : 1819
BM: 803 tons
17 May 1795 the frigates Thetis and Hussar, captured 4 armed French store-ships off Cape Henry, USA, including the Prévoyante and Raison, which were taken into the RN.
1 Jan 1799, Capt. Charles Wemyss. On the Halifax Station.
4 Dec 1799, Plymouth, arrived from Quebec, with fur ships, after a passage of 38 days.
1799 refitted as a Store ship.
25 Jul 1800 problems with neutral states and a diplomatic breakdown involving the Danish 40-gun 18-pounder frigate Freya and her convoy. See also Naval Chronicle, vol 4, p 157.
May 1805 Woolwich, refitting in commission.
28 Sep 1812 arrived Portsmouth, from Gibraltar.
2 Oct 1812 departed Portsmouth, with a convoy for the Downs.
14 Jan 1813 departed Portsmouth, for Bermuda.
9 Aug 1813, Deal, came down from the River and has sailed for Portsmouth.
10 Aug 1813 arrived Portsmouth, from the Downs.
4 Oct 1814 departed Portsmouth, for the Brazils.
7 Oct 1814, Portsmouth, has put back with the convoy to the Brazils, &c. and remains in St. Helen's roads.
29 Oct 1814 departed Plymouth, with a convoy for the Brazils etc.
5 Sep 1815 departed Portsmouth, for Dantzig.
7 Sep 1815 arrived Deal, from Portsmouth for Dantzig
31 Dec 1815 departed Deal for Gibraltar.
circa 17 May 1816 arrived Portsmouth, from Malta (2 Apr) and Gibraltar (27 Apr) with surplus stores.
25 Sep 1816, arrived Quebec, from Portsmouth.
24 Oct 1816 departed Quebec for England.
27 Nov 1816 arrived Portsmouth, from Quebec.
2 Dec 1816 has departed Portsmouth for Deptford.
5 Feb 1817 arrived Torbay, bound to Quebec.
28 May 1817, arrived at Quebec, with gov. provisions, having gone ashore at the mouth of the St. Charles.
24 Aug 1817 arrived Portsmouth, from Quebec.
27 Oct 1817 arrived Portsmouth, from Dantsic.
The British 36-gun frigate Thetis, Captain the Honourable Alexander Inglis Cochrane, and 28-gun frigate Hussar, Captain John Poer Beresford, being stationed off Chesapeake bay, United States of America, in order to intercept three French store-ships lying in Hampton roads, discovered, at daybreak on the 17th of May, Cape Henry bearing west by south, distant 20 leagues, five sail on the larboard tack, standing to the northwest. These ships, which, although large, were evidently armed en flute, drew up in line, and awaited the approach of the two British frigates. At 10 h. 30 m. a.m. the strangers hoisted French colours, and the second ship from the van, a broad pendant. The names of the five ships were Normand, Trajan, Prévoyante, Hernoux, and Raison ; but what stations the ships severally held in the line (except that the Prévoyante, is rightly placed), or which ship was the French commodore's, cannot now be ascertained, and is, indeed, of no great consequence.
The Hussar, by signal, hauled up and placed herself opposite to the two van-ships ; and the Thetis, following in line, opened her broadside upon the centre-ship, which was the largest. By 11 a.m. the Hussar had compelled the commodore and his second ahead to quit the line, and make sail to the east-southeast. The fire of both frigates now fell upon the centre-ship and the two ships in her rear ; all three of which, at 11 h. 45 m. a.m., hauled down their colours ; but the two rear-ships, notwithstanding they had surrendered, crowded sail to get away. One of them, the Raison, was soon overtaken by the Hussar ; but the other effected her escape.
The large ship was the Prévoyante, pierced for 36, but mounting 24 guns only, believed to have been 8-pounders. As a proof how resolutely she had been defended, her fore and main masts went over the side in half an hour after her surrender. What was her complement at the commencement of, or her loss during, the action, does not appear in Captain Cochrane's letter. The Raison mounted, according to the journal of one of the officers of the Hussar, her principal opponent, 14 guns, but Captain Cochrane, in his letter, says 18 ; in either case probably 6-pounders, with a complement, as it appears, of 125 men, of whom between 20 and 30 were too sick to go to quarters. Her loss in the action is nowhere stated.
The Thetis, whose long guns were 18 and 9 pounders, besides as many 18 or 24 pounder carronades on the quarterdeck and forecastle, as gave her 42 or 44 guns in the whole, with a complement of 261 men and boys, lost eight men killed, and nine wounded, some of them badly. The Hussar, whose 24 maindeck guns were long 9-pounders, exclusive of six 18-pounder carronades and four long sixes on the quarterdeck and forecastle, total 34 guns, with a complement of 193 men and boys, lost only three men wounded. With respect to damages, the latter ship had her standing and running rigging much cut, and three shot-holes in the fore, and one in the mainmast.
The Hussar alone, as a regular man of war, was more than a match for the two captured store-ships ; and they and their three consorts were of no greater force, however formidable in appearance, than a British 18-pounder 36 and a 28-gun frigate would, at any time, have gladly encountered.
The Prévoyante, and Raison were purchased by government, and fitted out at Halifax, Nova-Scotia. They only remained, however, as cruising ships until their arrival in England in 1799. The Prévoyante measured 803 tons, and, until subsequently restored to her original employment of a store-ship, was registered as a 36-gun frigate ; not in Steel, for he classes her as a 40, but in the books of the navy. If we look, for a moment, at the Prévoyante's establishment of guns, as by Admiralty-order of August 17, 1795, we shall find that this "36-gun frigate", was, in more than one instance, an anomaly of her day.