We formerly stated that the reign of the Pomone was a short one. In the year 1796, through the ignorance of a French pilot, the ship was run ashore in the night, on the Bœufs off Nantz, and was with difficulty got off by daylight. The Pomone's leaky state sent her home ; nor could Sir John Borlase Warren, the commander of the squadron of which she formed a part, spare a ship to accompany her. At one time the leak, which was under the step of the foremast, had so depressed the ship, that no water could be got to the pumps; but finally, by great exertions on the part of her officers and crew, the Pomone reached Plymouth. Captain Eyles, her commander, ran her at once into the harbour, without asking the usual leave ; and he and his officers and crew, received the thanks of the admiralty for their promptitude. After being docked, the Pomone was refitted for sea, but received on board 18, instead of 24 pounders for her main deck, on account of the weakness of her frame from the shock she had received. Subsequently the Pomone was again run on shore, at the island of Jersey. The ship again got off and returned to port; but was found to be so shaken in her frame, that she never afterwards went to sea.
There were two reasons why so few ships among the larger classes were ordered in the year 1797: one was, the great number, particularly of line-of-battle ships, already on the stocks, or about to be placed there ; the other, the great number of fine frigates that, since the commencement of the war, had been captured from the French, among which were nine of one class, that averaged nearly 1100 tons.
In the early part of the preceding year, several applications had been made by captains of 74-gun ships to have their ships fitted with carronades, similar to the Minotaur ; for which ship, since November, 1793, carronades had been ordered, in lieu of her 9s, at the request of Rear-admiral Macbride.
This induced the board of admiralty, on the 17th of March, to order that every line-of-battle ship, coming forward to be fitted, should be prepared to receive carronades all along her quarterdeck and forecastle, except in the wake of the shrouds. These carronades, except in special cases, were to be 32-pounders, and usually amounted to within four, or at most six, of the whole number of long guns originally established upon those decks. As an example of one special case, the carronades, 18 in number, of the Gibraltar, then refitting at Plymouth, were ordered to be 24-pounders ; thus making all her guns, except the two forecastle 9s, of the same caliber: see notes § and K* to the first Annual Abstract. As another exception, the Neptune, a small-class 98, was at a subsequent day, May 6th, 1800, also ordered 24-pounder carronades for her quarterdeck and forecastle.
Although no general order had as yet issued to arm frigates with 32-pounder carronades on the quarterdeck and forecastle
^ back to top ^