Built in 1798, Burlesdon. Wrecked in 1815.
Capt. Blackwood, 11/1798, Mediterranean.
On 26 January 1800 he captured the Spanish xebec corvette CARMEN off Malaga. She mounted sixteen 4-pounders and four swivels and the crew of 130 men was commanded by Don Stevanno Joel Barceló:
PENELOPE, off Old Malaga Jan. 26
My Lord-I have the Honour to inform Your Lord, taht I this day captured the CARMEN, a spanish xebec corvette commanted by Don Stevanno Joel Barcelo mounting 16 four-pounders and four fwivels, and manned with 130 men. She had been four days out from Malaga and had no made any captures.
I have the honour to be, &c.
On 24 February 1800 he arrives Port Mahon, from England and Gibraltar with 80.000 gold pounds.
PENELOPE formed part of the squadron under Lord Nelson blockading Malta and watching the GUILLAUME TELL (86), the flagship of of Rear Admiral Decres, who had escaped from the battle of the Nile and was sheltering in Valetta harbour. The French ship was spotted by Captain Blackwood, who was stationed close inshore, when she ventured out in a strong southerly gale during the dark night of 30 March 1800. Blackwood, sent the MINORCA (16) to apprise Captain Dixon in LION (64), which gave chase, and in less than an hour, was able to repeatedly rake the enemy ship within musket-shot range while receiving only an occasional shot from her stern guns. By the following morning the Frenchman's sails and rigging were so damaged that LION and FOUDROYANT were able to come up with her in succession. They engaged her for several hours until, being totally dismasted she was forced to strike and was taken possession of by PENELOPE who had two men killed including the Master, Mr Damerel and two wounded including Mr Silthorpe, the midshipman. She towed the prize to Syracuse and returned to her station off Malta until the island surrendered on 5 September 1800. She then accompanied Lord Keith on the expedition against the french in Egypt and returned home at Spithead on 19 March 1802.
1803 with Captain W. R. Broughton, she was in the North Sea Channel, serving under Lord Keith as part of the defence against French invasion threats.
In the middle of May 1803, Broughton, he was ordered to cruise off Camperdown for 14 days before returning to Yarmouth for further orders.
In July, under the orders of Rear Admiral Thornborough she was ordered to cruise between Yarmouth and Orfordness with MELPOMENE (38).
In January 1804 Captain Broughton appeared before a court martial at Sheerness on charges preferred by his first lieutenant, Mr Gedges.These were found to be frivolous and he was acquitted.
On 15 May 1804, the enemy flotilla, as had been expected, began to haul out of Ostend. They were watched by cruiser, RATTLER (16) and a squadron of gunboats stationed off the port while PENELOPE, ANTELOPE (50) and AIMABLE (32)were offshore in sight of both Ostend and Flushing. Two hours later the Flushing flotilla came out and steered along the shore towards Ostend, cruiser and RATTLER engaged, supported by AIMABLE. PENELOPE worked up to the centre of the enemy line as far as the shoal water would allow while ANTELOPE went round the Stroom Sand and the two of them engaged every part of the line from four o'clock until eight. PENELOPE lost 3 seamen killed and 4 wounded. Sir Sidney Smith, who was in ANTELOPE, was unable to send open boats into the enemy line to pick up the vessels which had struck and had been abandoned because they were mixed up with those still firing.
1807 Capt. John Dick, Channel.
1809 West Indies.
At the beginning of 1809, PENELOPE took part in the blockade of Guadeloupe and on 30 January assisted in landing the troops under Lieut. General Beckwith.
1811 Out of commission at Plymouth.
1813 Fitting out as a troopship at Plymouth. Cdr. Charles Sullivan, 10/1813, to Halifax in the spring of 1814. He was posted in June 1814 and succeeded by Cdr. William Cobb. 1815 Cdr. James Galloway.
In the spring PENELOPE sailed from Spithead for Canada and had a favourable passage as far as the Newfoundland Banks where they met ice, fog and gales.
On 27 April she entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence and two days later sighted Cap de Rosiers on the southern shore. She continued eastwards during the 30th. and at dusk a course was set to keep her well clear of the land. At 8 pm she was in 71 fathoms and half an hour later in heavy snow, while the Captain and the first lieutenant, Mr Hooper, were examining the chart, she struck hard and fast on rocks. The quarter boats were lowered and took out the stream anchor and the bower anchors were cut away to lighten the ship forward. By morning the orlop deck was full of water so the masts were cut away and four unsuccessful attempts made to carry the end of a hawser ashore. The sea then broke into the captain's cabin destroying the bags of bread which were their only provisions. An exhausted Captain Galloway was persuaded to go ashore in the pinnace with as many men as she could carry but she was swamped as soon as she left the lee of the ship and was then wrecked on a rock leaving all on board to swim for the shore. Lieuts. Benjamin Hooper and John Massey with 18 men followed in the gig but she was upset when trying to make a second trip. The 40 or so men left on board perished during the night when the ship broke into three pieces. Only one seaman David Bruce, managed to get on shore.
On 2 May 47 men and boys deserted after plundering all the trunks which had been washed ashore. The remaining survivors salvaged the boats, repaired them and made preparations for proceeding to Quebec. The following day a Canadian boat suggested making for Gaspe and provided cooking utensils to enable them prepare food. When the weather moderated on the 6th. 68 people, including 2 women, embarked in the boats and reached Gaspe Bay on the evening of the following day. After resting for a few days they walked nine miles across the ice to board three transports and arrived in Quebec on the 23rd. Many of the survivors were frostbitten and some lost their toes.
On 24 July 1815 a court martial was held at Portsmouth. It was decided that the loss of PENELOPE was due to the state of the weather and the set of the current. The master, Mr William Honnor, was sentenced to be placed at the bottom of the list. Captain Galloway and Lieut. Hooper were reprimanded and seaman Walter Howell was sentenced to 500 lashes for drunkenness, disobedience of orders, mutiny and desertion.
Taken from Michael Philip's Ships of the Old Navy.
The European Magazine, and London