HMS Exuberant 50

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H.M.S. Exuberant running in among Danish-Norwegian merchantmen on July 21, 1819.

H.M.S. Exuberant:

Rating: 5th-rate

Class: Trincomalee

Date of Commission: May 5th, 1816

Guns: 50

Crew: 338

Status: On the La Mona Station.

History:

The Exuberant is a flush-decked, slab-sided, and heavy 18-pounder frigate. Terribly slow in stays, labouring under her weight in turns, and having a prodigious heel on her windward broadside, she can not be said to be a nimble or sprightly ship. Additionally, due to oak shortages she is built built in fir, making her timbers prone to crack and splinter horribly when hit by roundshot. Her three foremost advantages, however, are her impressive speed when sailing large or at beam reach, her considerable broadside weight of metal, and her four long 9-pounder bow chasers.

She was first commissioned to Lord Nathaniel Blatchford on May 5th, 1816. Captain Blatchford was expressly ordered to cruise the sea lanes between Honduras and Yucatan, there to intercept and sink or seize any foreign ships and vessels. In the period directly following this commission, the Exuberant mainly anchored at Truxillo when in port, and sailed on short distance cruises and patrols. Although she fought a single-ship action against a Spanish ship of comparable force, and took some smaller prizes, she saw little action during her first commmission. When Lord Blatchford was commissioned the Banterer later that same year, the Exuberant was sold to the Royal Netherlands Navy.

A Danish-Norwegian trader, seen from the forecastle of H.M.S. Exuberant on July 21, 1819.

Through a set of various circumstances, she was captured by the French in 1818. Primarily plying up and down the French coastal colonies of northern Hispanola, few details are known of her missions, as her logbook was thrown overboard upon her capture by Captain Sir Samuel Hood in July 1819. She was then commissioned to Lord Blatchford once again, upon his return to the West Indies. Now stationed at La Mona, her main task would be to harass the shipping of the Scandinavian countries off Hispanola, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

During her first month, Captain Blatchford spent most of his time improving the gunnery and handling of his command. Through techniques, drills or physical changes, considerable effort was made to ameliorate the Exuberant's intrusive heel and slow turning. As soon as her ship's company were ready, Captain Blatchford set to cruising the trade routes off Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. By the end of July, the Exuberant had taken and sunk over a dozen enemy merchantment, most off the coastline of Puerto Rico. Though little was earned from the enemy cargo, the accumulated head- and gun money made the crew enough money to spend on merriment when in port. The crew's wealth was significantly increased in August, when two deeply laden Dano-Norwegian Indiamen were seized along the Exuberant's cruising grounds. On August 17, she fell in with a Dano-Norwegian 34-gun frigate in the Mona Passage, sinking her after some close maneuvering.


British Captains:

1816-1817: Captain the Lord Trentham

1817-1818: Sold to and sailed by the Royal Netherlands Navy.

1818-1819: Captured and sailed by the French Navy.

1819: Captured by Captain Sir Samuel Hood.

1819-present: Captain the Lord Stafford


Paintings:


Excerpts from the Logbook (Player Versus Player):

  • September 1819
Saturday, September 14, N of Arecibo, course W, hands employed about the rigging. At 1/2 to 9 observed Danish-Norwegian 16-gun 'Trader Brig' armed merchantman to SSW bearing ESE, bore down to engage. Proceeded to cut up her rigging, and presently the enemy was boarded and carried. Parts of her cargo, mainly sailcloth and cordage, was transferred aboard before we scuttled her.
  • August 1819
Saturday, August 17, SSW of Aguadilla, course SW, hands variously employed. At 3/4 to 5 observed Danish-Norwegian 34-gun 'Hercules' frigate to SW bearing NNW, bore down in chase. Damaging her rigging with accurate chaser fire, we closed with the enemy and made several passes yardarm-to-yardarm. A Danish-Norwegian 68-gun 'Wapen von Hamburg' ship of the line entered the engagement in support to leeward, but with our final broadside the enemy frigate was sunk. We did not go aboard her, but rescued what crew we could before bearing up to disengage from the remaining enemy ship.
Friday, August 16, W of Hat Island, course E, hands employed about the rigging. At 1/2 to 12 observed Danish-Norwegian 'Indiaman' to ESE bearing WNW, bore up to engage. After some brisk firing from our chasers, the enemy hauled her wind and struck her colours as we came within pistol shot. We took possession of her and her cargo of fish, timber, guns and iron ingots, manned her with a prize crew, and so parted company.
Tuesday, August 6, NE of Rincón, course SW, hands employed chipping roundshot. At 1/2 to 5 observed Danish-Norwegian 28-gun 'Indiaman' armed merchantman to SW bearing WSW, bore down in chase. The merchant had no lookout, and we were able to range up alongside her and take her by surprise. The enemy was boarded and carried, and upon taking possession we found her to be carrying quantities of spars, sailcloth, yards, rigging, planks and tools. Manned her with a prize crew and sent her to La Mona.
Monday, August 5, NNE of San Juan, course E, hands employed at the pumps. At 9 observed Danish-Norwegian 'Trader Brig' to SE bearing W, bore down to close with her. After some lively maneuvering, the enemy was boarded and carried. Sunk her and her cargo of fish.
Monday, August 5, WNW of Cabo Rojo, course N, hands employed about the ship. At 10 observed Pirate 16-gun 'Trader Brig' armed vessel to NNW bearing NW, bore up in chase. The chase attempted to gain distance by erratic maneuvering, but after a short chase the pirates were boarded and carried. We took aboard some of her cargo of spars, sailcloth and cordage before scuttling her. The surviving 34 pirates were put in irons so that they could be prosecuted and hanged.
Friday, August 2, N of Arecibo, course SE, hands variously employed. At 11 observed three Swedish 'Trader Brigs' to SE bearing ENE, gave chase. After a very long chase to the northwards after one of these merchants, our chasers playing on the enemy rigging, we finally overhauled her. Upon us closing on her starboard quarter, the enemy struck her colours. We found her hold to be empty, and so scuttled her.
Thursday, August 1, N of The Settlement, course E, hands employed trimming sails. At 1/2 to 9 observed Danish-Norwegian 16-gun 'Trader Brig' armed merchantman to ESE bearing WNW, bore down and made chase. After a short exchange of chain shot, the enemy was boarded and carried. As we inspected her hull, a Danish-Norwegian 54-gun 'Constitution' frigate was bearing down to windward, and we quickly secured the prisoners and scuttled the merchantman before flying before the wind. Appearing around us was an enemy frigate squadron, but after a long chase to the northwards we made our escape.
  • July 1819
Tuesday, July 30, N of the Mona Passage, course S, hands busy knotting and splicing. At 10 observed the remaining Swedish 20-gun 'Les Gros Ventre' armed merchantman to ESE bearing SE, renewed chase. The enemy was running for Machao, but her torn rigging allowed us to catch up with her just N of said port. After an exchange of roundshot we raked her cruelly, and the enemy struck her colours. Finding no cargo of value, we were obliged to scuttle her.
Tuesday, July 30, N of the Mona Passage, course ESE, hands employed about the ship. At 1/4 to 10 observed two Swedish 20-gun 'Les Gros Ventres' armed merchantmen to SSE bearing W, bore down to engage. Entered range of forward guns after a long chase, and proceeded to cut up the rigging of the nearest merchantman and received some chain shot in return. We then boarded and carried the enemy, but hurried to scuttled her as we found no goods of value. Renewed chase of second merchant.
Saturday, July 27, NNW of Fajardo, course SE, hands employed restowing the hold. At 1/2 to 9 observed French 'Trader Snow' to E bearing W, gave chase. After a swift chase, the enemy was boarded and carried. Scuttled her, and allowed her people the use of her boats.
Thursday, July 25, N of Fajardo, course SE, hands employed trimming sails. At 1/2 to 9 observed Danish-Norwegian 16-gun 'Trader Brig' armed merchantman to S bearing W, bore down and closed to range. This was followed by a long chase until the enemy lost her fore topmast to a shot from our forward chasers. As we came alongside her, the enemy attempted to board us. The enemy boarding parties were beaten back, and we swiftly carried her. Danish-Norwegian cruisers had been spotted from the masthead and, finding it difficult for the prize to reach La Mona, we scuttled her and her cargo of iron ore.
Thursday, July 25, W of Cabo Rojo, course ENE, hands eployed about the ship. At 1/4 to 2 observed Danish-Norwegian 20-gun 'Les Gros Ventre' armed merchantman to S bearing NNE, bore up and closed to range. After ranging alongside, the enemy was boarded and carried. After allowing her people to leave, we found her cargo to be various vegetables, spars, rigging, and fish meat. A Russian man-of-war closed in to claim her, and so we were obliged to scuttle her and disengage.
Thursday, July 25, NE of Samaná, course ESE, hands worming the cable. At 1/4 to 2 observed French 16-gun 'Trader Brig' armed merchantman to E bearing W, bore up in chase. After a long running chase to t W, the enemy was boarded and carried. Her hold held nothing of value, and so we scuttled her.
Tuesday, July 23, ENE of Spanish Town, course WNW, hands employed about the ship. At 1/2 to 11 observed Danish-Norwegian 22-gun 'Trader Snow' armed merchantman to N bearing E, bore down to engage. After some frustrating maneuvering, the enemy was boarded and carried. Upon taking possession we found her hold to be empty, and scuttled her. Her people were allowed to escape to Spanish Town in their boats.
Tuesday, July 23, N of Arecibo, course ESE, hands employed knotting and splicing after the last action. At 10 observed Danish-Norwegian 'Trader Brig' to N bearing W, gave chase. Closed to range, and the enemy was boarded and carried. No valuable cargo caused her to be scuttled.
Tuesday, July 23, SW of La Mona, course SW, hands variously employed. At 1/2 to 10 observed Swedish 22-gun 'Trader Snow' armed merchantman to SW bearing SW, closed to range. After some maneuvering, the enemy was boarded and carried. Having no valuable cargo, we scuttled her and allowed her people the use of her boats.
Sunday, July 21, W of Hat Island, course SE, hands eployed about the ship. At 1/4 to 3 observed Danish-Norwegian 16-gun 'Trader Brig' armed merchantman to S bearing E, gave chase. After a short exchange of gunfire, the enemy was boarded and carried. We found no cargo of value in her, and scuttled her after allowing her people to leave in her boats.
Saturday, July 20, SE of Hat Island, course E, hands busy knotting and splicing. At 3/4 to 2 observed Danish-Norwegian 22-gun 'Trader Snow' armed merchantman to SE bearing N, bore up to engage. We were fired upon as we closed with her, but the enemy was swiftly boarded and carried. Upon taking possession we found no goods of value, and was obliged to scuttle her.
Saturday, July 20, E of Pasaje, course SSE, hands worming the cable. At 1 observed Danish-Norwegian 'Trader Brig' to SSE bearing WNW, closed to range. The lack of a lookout allowed us to close with her without much maneuvering, but to slow her down we were obliged to knock down her mainmast. The enemy struck her colours, and we scuttled her and her cargo of wood logs soon after.
Saturday, July 20, NNE of San Juan, course ESE, hands variously employed. At 1/4 to 12 observed Danish-Norwegian 28-gun 'Indiaman' in concert with a 20-gun 'Les Gros Ventre' armed merchantmen to E bearing WSW, bore down to engage. The two merchantmen caused extensive damage to our sails, but as the 'Indiaman' fled we concentrated our efforts on the 'Les Gros Ventre'. The latter struck his colours upon our approach. Scuttled her and allowed her people the use of her boats.
Saturday, July 20, SSW of Puerto Escondidas, course ESE, hands employed about the ship. At 10 observed Pirate 16-gun 'Trader Brig' armed vessel to E bearing SW, gave chase. The pirates were not keeping a proper watch, and we were at musket range before she had time to react. Their ship was boarded and the pirates put in irons. Finding no cargo of value, we scuttled the brig and transported the prisoners to Puerto Escondido for trial and subsequent hanging.


  • May 1816
Saturday, May 7, E of Tumbado, course E, hoisted broad pennant. At 1/4 to 9, SW of Batabano, observed Spanish 'Navy Brig' to N. Bore up and took possession. At 1/2 past 9, S of Pinar del Rio, spotted Spanish 'Mercury' brig to E, bore up and took her a prize.
Saturday, May 7, N of Truxillo, course NE, all hands employed scraping down the masts and various other jobs. At 8 observed Spanish 'Trincomalee' to N, gave chase. At 1/4 past, Spanish abandoned ship after receiving extensive damage to hull. Survivors collected and put in irons.