HMS Camilla

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HMS Camilla leaving the coast of Spain (in the distance off her starboard beam), sailing westwards to the Caribbean and Port Royal

Overview

Rating: Unrated

Class: Bermuda-class sloop of war

Shipyard: Deptford DY

Launched: April 7th, 1711

Status: Bought out of the Service.


Armament

Total Guns: 8

Topdeck: 8 x 5-lbs

Broadside Weight: 20lbs

Crew: 75


Commanders

Current Owner: Will Collister

Previous Captains:

August 25th, 1719 - December 12th, 1719: Captain Collister


Ship History

An eight-gunned Bermuda-class sloop manned by a crew of 75, she was built in the year 11 as one of the many sloops ordered by the Admiralty in the beginning of the century. She was commanded by a range of young officers as per usual of vessels of her class; she was often the welcome command that brought with it the rank of Master and Commander and thus the first taste of the sole authority and total responsibility enjoyed as such.

In her early years she served in the Channel, 1711-1714, and the Mediterranean, 1714-1719, as a support vessel. In 1719 she was to be transferred to the Caribbean, as these waters grew in importance. The decision was made to give her to Captain Collister; a young officer who had recently distinguished himself at the battle of Cape Passaro.

Captain Collister's orders to assume command of the Camilla shared the significance of the appointment of so many of her previous Captains; it was his first command, discounting the Aguila, of course, which he had taken at the battle of Cape Passaro but only sailed in her damaged state with a reduced crew and only that for less than a month. This was indeed the real beginning of Captain Collister's career as a Captain.

The crossing to the West Indies was the first voyage of Collister as a Captain, and the step up from lieutenant was felt keenly. The solitude (relevant solitude of course, as true solitude is as achievable as a private conversation aboard a vessel of her class) did not affect Captain Collister as it had done many before him. He found his cabin (with a mere 5" 6' of headroom) a refuge and a sanctuary and took great pride in his newfound role as a stoic leader of men; unquestionable and unfaltering in equal measure. He was no hermit however, and made a point of often dining with the few officers present in such a small vessel and took pleasure in breakfasting with his lieutenant or one of the two midshipmen aboard.

The Camilla was a nimble ship and she made the crossing in a little less than ten weeks. Upon reaching Port Royal, Captain Collister was so fairly treated by the Admiralty as to promptly recieve his promotion to Post-Captain and first rated vessel; the sixth-rate frigate HMS Guardian, of 20 guns.