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The storm was recorded on 14th August. Fly was recorded as 'foundered' off Newfoundland in 1802;  no specific date given, but 'spring'. So this could not have been the same event.

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Thanks for posting these Alan;


Regarding the riggers hanging or drowning themselves, this was due to the Peace of Amiens, signed in 1802. 


Lord St Vincent, who had recently been made First Lord of the Admiralty, was convinced that the dockyards were staffed by rogues, who had no other object in life but to connive and steal for their own profit. As soon as peace was declared, one which St Vincent was adamant would last for at least 10 years, he immediately set up commissions of inquiry, and ordered swingeing cuts to the dockyard staff and Navy budget. He ordered halts to the purchase and stockpiling of most items needed for building or maintaining ships. These policies were opposed by more strategically aware Naval officers, but their protests were un-heeded. 


So of course, when war with France broke out again within a year or so, the Navy had few ships ready for sea, no timber stockpiled in the dockyards, a greatly reduced number of skilled men to put ships in commission and start on the building of new ones, and greatly reduced morale. At the same time, Napoleon was massing troops on the Channel coast, and proclaiming the forthcoming invasion of Britain. It was just like the disarmament policies of the British government in the 1930s, and the Munich agreement. Put not your faith in the promises of dictators!


St Vincent, a notedly harsh disciplinarian even in an age when much that would be unthinkable now was regarded as commonplace, would certainly not have spared a thought for either the damage he did to the Navy, nor for the lives of those who were so badly affected by his mis-timed and inappropriate cutbacks. Many of these men were probably owed years of back-pay, and having been dismissed from their employment, would have been unable to obtain any further credit to buy food. Being unable to sustain their existence any longer, they probably saw no hope of ever receiving their arrears of pay, and quite understandably, just gave up. Sobering stuff.


May their souls rest in peace


All the best,


Mark P





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Thanks Druxey! Little Fly was the last surviver of the Swan Class. I wonder how she looked then, after so many required repairs and updates. A new fiddlehead? Stern carvings replaced, or reduced? Quarterdeck and forecastle barricades planked over? The 'Nelson Checker' paint job? Carronades on the main deck? Remember, the poor, little 16-gun ship Fly was only 300 tons, while the new Cruiser Class 18-gun brigs were 400 tons. Pegasus vanished in those same seas back when she was brand new - as she had just arrived in Halifax from England on her maiden cruise.

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from the reliable Wikipedia:


On 17 September 1801 Fly left Portsmouth as escort to a convoy for Newfoundland. She foundered and was lost with all hands off Cape Flattery, Newfoundland in January 1802.


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according to papers, she was in Antigua in January, notice of PRIZE published 5 March... still looking



did a quick search through to July and no other mention of her


Edited by AON

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