El triste final del HMS QUEEN CHARLOTTE (100).  Marina Lermontov.  (04/12/2009)

  El QUEEN CHARLOTTE fondeaba en el puerto de Mahón el 4 de Enero de 1800, con Lord Keith a bordo.  Zarpaba el 9 de Enero, rumbo a Malta.  Veamos su triste final.


  Built in 1790, Chatham.

  Destroyed in 1800.

  1793 Captain Sir Roger Curtis, -/1793. She was Lord Howe’s flagship on the glorious First of June 1794.

  1797 Captain J. Elphinstone, 08/1797, (Vice Admiral Lord Keith). 1798 Capt. J. Irwin, 06/1798, (Vice Admiral Thompson) (Rear Admiral Whitshed, 06/1799)

  1800 Capt. Andrew Todd. Flagship of Vice Admiral Lord Keith. She sailed from Spithead for the Mediterranean on 20 November 1799 with an East Indies convoy.
  On 15 February 1800 Lord Keith received intelligence that an enemy squadron was reported to be approaching Malta, then under blockade by British ships. He sent FOUDROYANT (80), AUDACIOUS (74) and NORTHUMBERLAND (74) to windward, LION (64) to the passage between Gozo and Malta, while QUEEN CHARLOTTE (100) kept as close to the mouth of Valetta harbour as the batteries there would permit. ALEXANDER (74) was on the south-east side of the island. PHAETON (38) joined the following day.

  Meanwhile Nelson's squadron was engaged with the French. The 74-gun GENEREUX, the BADINE (24), and two corvettes with the armed storeship VILLE DE PARIS (110) had sailed from Toulon on 7 February to take 4.000 troops and stores to the relief of Malta. The GENEREUX (74) surrendered without action to SUCCESS (32), FOUDROYANT ((80) and NORTHUMBERLAND (74) and the storeship was taken by EL CORSO.

  On 17 March 1800 the QUEEN CHARLOTTE (100) was sailing from Livorno to reconnoitre the island of Cabrera and, when about 10 miles from her destination, she was found to be on fire. Some hay lying under the half-deck had been set on fire by a match kept there for the signal guns. The main-sail immediately caught fire and soon the front bulkhead of the Admiral's cabin and the boats in the booms were ablaze. Lieut. George DUNDAS, being the only officer in the fore part of the ship, went below with as many people as he could persuade to go with him and they kept the lower deck clear of fire until several of the guns on the middle deck fell through on them. About 150 men on the forecastle spent an hour throwing buckets of water as far aft as possible but all efforts to extinguish the flames was unavailing. Soon the ship was ablaze from stem to stern and her guns were going off in all directions. Lieut. John Stewart who was ashore in Livorno, did his best to persuade the Tuscans there to go to her aid without much success. A boat manned by three Americans was swamped by men from the QUEEN CHARLOTTE (100) swarming on board and it sank with all on board. An hour later the ship blew up and then turned over to float bottom up.

  The total loss was 673 out of a complement of 840 officers, men and boys and included Captain Todd; Lieuts. William Baimbridge, James Erskine; Captain Joseph Breedon, marines; Thomas Whidden, master; Thomas Marsh, Purser; John Fraser, Surgeon; John Bridgman, Boatswain; four master's mates; eighteen midshipmen including Charles Dickson and Thomas Bridgman, the sons of the gunner and the boatswain; three surgeon's mates and the schoolmaster, Robert Holt.

Lieut. Lord Cochrane had been ordered to take the GENEREUX, Lord Nelson’s prize, into port and so escaped the fire.


Taken from  Michael Philip's Ships of the Old Navy.

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