Log of the HMS Loire - 40 cannon Frigate 1798-1818
The Ship
Loire, 1798
Type: 5th Rate ; Armament 40 (28 x 18 pdr ; 10 x 8 pdr ; 4 x 36 pdr carronades)
Completed : Taken 1798 ; Disposal date or year : 1818
Disposal Details : BU
BM: 1100 tons
Complement: 284
BU 1818

See Ref 2

Oct 1798
Taken by Capt. DURHAM in ANSON off Cape Clear on 18 October 1798.

12 Oct 1798 Action with frigates of an English Sqadron under Commodore Sir J. B. Warren, off Ireland
17 Oct 1798 Exchanged shots with the brig Kangaroo
17 Oct 1798 Action with Mermaid, which caused severe damage
18 Oct 1798 Action with the already damaged Anson and again with the Kangaroo resulting in La Loire's surrender.

Dec 1799
Capt. James N. NEWMAN, 5/99. (From MERMAID) Channel. On 10 December 1799 she sailed from Plymouth for a cruise On 7 January 1800 LOIRE was coming in to Plymouth when ATLAS, using a jury rudder, went ashore near the east ridge of Drake's Island. Capt. NEWMAN, who was ill, directed his first lieutenant, Mr RAYNER, to get a hawser aboard ATLAS and she was swung off into deep water. LOIRE sailed on a cruise on 30 January with DANAE and RAILLEUR to search for a frigate escorting a convoy from St. Marlo to Brest and on 6 February the sloops FAIRY and HARPY decoyed the French frigate PALLAS towards them off Cape Frehel. She was captured after a close action of over two hours. Two seamen aboard LOIRE were killed and sixteen wounded, one of whom died of his wounds. Midshipmen Watkins Oliver PELL, Francis William EVES and John Allen MEDWAY were also wounded. PALLAS lost sixty men killed and wounded and was badly disabled with her top-main-mast over the side. Lieut. RAYNER went on board as prizemaster and LOIRE and RAILLEUR accompanied PALLAS towards Plymouth. On the 7th they fell in with a trawler off the Eddystone. The master put a pilot on board PALLAS and the three ships bore away for Falmouth. With the wind blowing hard from the south-east PALLAS finished up at Penzance and LOIRE and RAILLEUR were driven as far as CORK. LOIRE arrived back in Plymouth on the 20th and three days later she went into the Barnpool to repair the damage she had received in the action with PALLAS.
Apr 1800
On 1 April LOIRE sailed for Torbay with stores for the fleet and was back in Plymouth on the 11th. On 18 April she sailed from Plymouth with 150 French prisoners for Portsmouth. With a good S.W. wind she arrived the following day. LOIRE sailed on 3 May to escort a large convoy for the Mediterranean through the Channel and At the end of July she brought the Lisbon and Oporto fleet back up the Channel. After her arrival at Spithead she was cleared of quarantine on 31 July After her arrival at Spithead she was cleared of quarantine on 31 July and went into harbour on Friday 1 August. A fine privateer schooner she had captured arrived in Plymouth on 2 August.
Oct 1800
On 15 October LOIRE refitted at Plymouth and sailed for Guernsey on the afternoon of the 21st. At the beginning of November a hurricane caused a great deal of damage in the Channel Islands. LOIRE parted all her cables and during a pitch dark night passed over a ridge of rocks at high tide, she arrived safely at Spithead on the 6th. (HAVICK, PELICAN and LION were all driven ashore)
Dec 1800
LOIRE and TOPAZE left Portsmouth on 28 December to cruise off L'Havre and LOIRE returned for ten days on 3 January. She arrived in Plymouth on 18 February. Three days later she sailed to return to Portsmouth.

On the morning of 11 April LOIRE sighted a vessel making signals of distress and Capt. NEWMAN sent a boat to investigate. She proved to be the BEAVER, Capt. O'Connor, bound for London with wine from Oporto. She had been captured by the French privateer BRAAVE the previous day and O'Connor and boy had been left on board with a prize-master and four privateers. The captain had managed to lock the prize-master in the cabin, knocked the steersman overboard and, by threatening them with a gun, forced the other three to remain in the rigging. Thus he spent an anxious night, BEAVER being leaky and making little headway. An officer and eight men from LOIRE brought her safely into Plymouth on the 15th. Towards the end of June there were reports that LOIRE had gone ashore on the French coast and been captured. She had actually been reconnoitering close in shore and had missed one tide before returning.

1803 Capt. Frederick MAITLAND, 15/10/02, from CARRERE, a French frigate taken near Elba on 3 October 1801.

LOIRE sailed from Portsmouth for Guernsey late on the night of 11 March 1803. On the evening of the 27 June a French national gun-brig was discovered at anchor under a shore battery in the Isle de Bas Roads. Two boats manned with volunteers from LOIRE and commanded by Lieuts. Francis TEMPLE and John BOWEN managed to get alongside before daylight and, although they came under heavy fire from both ship and shore, after an hour and a half's hard fighting they brought off their prize. Several of the French officers were killed and about 17 of the crew were killed or wounded for no loss to LOIRE save for one warrent officer and 5 men wounded. The wounded from both ships were landed at Plymouth on 2 July. The prize, the VENTOUR armed with four long 18-pounders and six 42-pound carronades, was taken up the Hamoaze. After a refit LOIRE returned to her station off the Isle de Bas on the 14th. She sent the MARIA of Hamburg from Havana into Plymouth on 20 August.

Jan 1804
LOIRE arrived in Plymouth on 9 January 1804 after a severe overnight gale with the loss of her mizen-mast, carried away during the chase of a large French frigate off Scilly. During a further severe gale on Thursday the 21st, BOADICEA ran foul of LOIRE in Cawsand Bay. LOIRE had to cut away her fore-mast and bowsprit and LOIRE let go another anchor before being brought up safely under Withy Hedge although she was rolling gunnel and sometimes head under water. The following day she got up a stump of a jury fore-mast and went up to the harbour to refit. She was full of naval stores of all descriptions for the squadron on the Irish station and these had to be taken off for transfer to another frigate. After the refit she sailed on a cruise on 22 February.
Mar 1804
On the night of 16 March 1804 LOIRE captured the French ship privateer BRAAVE after a chase of seven hours. She was armed with sixteen 12- and 6- pounders and carried a crew of 110 men. In the three weeks she had been cruising out of L'Orient she had made no captures. LOIRE returned to Plymouth from her cruise off the coast of Ireland on 10 May for a refit.
Aug 1804
On her next cruise in August LOIRE captured the French ship privateer BLONDE of Bordeaux after a chase of 36 hours. Armed with thirty 9-pounder guns she carried a crew of 260 men and had sailed from Vigo but had not made any captures in the few days she had been at sea. LOIRE had a midshipman and five of her crew wounded during the running fight, two seriously. She brought her prize into Plymouth on 29 August. (The BLONDE was frigate built and belonged to Bordeaux. On 28 March 1804 she sank the 13 gun WOLVERENE, which was escorting a convoy to Newfoundland, with the loss of 5 killed and 10 wounded.)
In the summer of 1805 LOIRE was stationed off Cape Finisterre and on 12 May when she was some 50O miles out into the Atlantic she sighted a squadron of 10 French vessels including one 3-decker, four 2-deckers and three frigates. At dark Capt. MAITLAND made for Ferrol and four days later joined Sir Robert CALDER in an unsuccessful search for the enemy. On 17 May LOIRE was ordered to join the fleet off Brest.
Jun 1805
On 1 June 1805, while regaining her station after delivering dispatches from Lord GARDNER to Sir Rober CALDER, LOIRE sighted a small vessel standing into the Bay of Camarinas to the eastward of the Cape. Capt. MAITLAND sent in the launch and two cutters under the first lieutenant, Mr James Lucas YEO, with Marine Lieut. MALLOCK, master's mate, Mr Charles CLINCH and Messrs. HERBERT and MILDRIDGE, midshipmen, numbering 35 in all. to bring her out. At daybreak they found two small privateers moored under a battery of 10 guns. The launch under Mr CLINCH boarded and carried the smaller, a lugger, but since she was close under the guns she had to be abandoned. The two cutters carried the larger, a felucca armed with three 18-pounders and four 4-pounders and fifty men. Only three men from LOIRE, William TURNER, Quarter Master James GARDNER and Marine John MAYNES, were wounded. Nineteen of the enemy were missing, some had jumped overboard, the others killed. The felucca was the ESPERAMZA (alias SAN PEDRO) of Corunna, victualled for a cruise of one month. Three small merchant vessels carrying wine for the enemy squadron at Ferrol were destroyed on the way out.

On the morning of the 4 June LOIRE stood into the bay at Muros to engage a French privateer fitting out there. Mr YEO, Marine Lieuts. MALLOCKS and DOUGLAS, and Mr CLINCH with a force of about fifty were ready to land and storm any forts. As they entered the bay two guns in a small battery opened fire on them and Mr YEO landed to spike the guns. Further on they found a corvette with 26 ports apparently ready for sea and a brig with 20 ports neither of which opened fire so it was assumed that they had no guns on board, however they came under accurate fire from a large fort with twelve 18-pounders at a range of less than a quarter of a mile. Mr CLEVERLY, the master, brought LOIRE to anchor with a spring so that her broadside could return the fire, the purser, Mr SHEA, being in charge of the quarter deck carronades.

Meanwhile Lieut. YEO, hearing the firing, pushed forward the quarter of a mile to the fort and entered it through a gate that the enemy had left open. Here he killed the governor who had brought troops from the town and the crews of the privateers to the inner gate. Those that were not killed fled into the fort and some jumped from the embrazures on to the rocks. Twelve of the enemy were killed and 30 wounded. As soon as the fort was taken, Capt. MAITLAND took possession of the CONFIANCE, 116 ft long and about 450 tons, a French ship privateer pierced for 26 guns but having none on board, which was due to sail for India in a few days. He then arranged with the inhabitants of the town to deliver up the guns and stores of the ship in return for a promise of no further molestation.

The BELIER brig, a privateer pierced for twenty 18-pounders was in an early stage of refitting so he burnt her. The small vessels in the bay and on the beach that belonged to the local inhabitants he left unmolested. The guns in the fort were spiked and thrown over the parapet, forty barrels of gunpowder, two small brass guns and some small arms were brought on board and LOIRE sailed out of the bay as soon as a land wind sprang up.

The wounded in the shore party were:- Lieut. LEO; Mr CLINCH, seamen Henry GRAY, Martin HENDRICKSON, John PAYNE and marine John LEONARD. On board seamen James CALDWELL and John WITECOMB were seriously wounded; Magnus JOHNSON lost his right leg above the knee and Christian WILSON had the calf of his leg shot off. Seamen John PLUMMER, Mark ARCHER, Thomas LLOYD, John MOULDS and James GILLETT were also wounded.

The Spanish and French privateers were brought into Cork by LOIRE on 13 June.

Jun 1805
On 25 June she gave chase to the VALIANT of Bordeaux, a privateer frigate, about 20O miles west of Cape Clear. After 12 hours the enemy was forced to bear up by the appearance of MELAMPUS and BRILLIANTon the weather bow. VALIANT was very fast and carried twenty-four 18-pounders on the main deck but the six 6-pounders on the quarter deck had been thrown overboard during the chase. Victualled for a four month's cruise she had made only one capture, the Halifax packet SIR CHARLES SPENCER. LOIRE brought her in to Cork on 29 June.
Dec 1805
On 13 December 1805 LOIRE and ALCMENE fell in with the French squadron from Rochefort consisting of six sail of the line and six frigates and corvettes. Capt. MAITLAND sent ALCMENE to the fleet off Brest and shadowed the French ships, at times during the night being so close that he could hear orders being passed. He was chased away during the following day but closed up again at night. During the night of 16/17th. he found himself between two enemy squadrons and had to make sail to escape from them. The new ships were from Brest and reached San Domingo in February, they had apparently not recognised the Rochefort ships which returned to port soon after.
Dec 1805
LOIRE and EGYPTIENNE captured the French 4O-gun frigate LIBRE off Rochefort on 24 December after an obstinate resistance. The French lost 20 men killed and wounded, LOIRE had no casualties and EGYPTIENNE had 8 wounded, one mortally. LIBRE was badly damaged and lost her masts so Loire took her in tow and reached Plymouth with her on 4 January 1806.
Apr 1806
The Spanish privateer schooner PRINCESS OF PEACE was captured on the evening of 22 April 1806 about 10O miles south-west of Cape Clear. Although pierced for 14 guns she was only carrying one large 24-pounder. She was five days out on her first cruise without taking any prizes. LOIRE brought her in to Cork on the 28th.

On 24 July 1806 LOIRE attempted to close with a squadron of four French frigates but the enemy hauled to the wind so Capt. MAITLAND made for Sir Richard KEATS squadron 150 miles west of Belleisle. He reported the enemy on the 27th and the following evening MARS was able to cut off the French frigate RHIN,44.

Nov 1806
Capt. MAITLAND was appointed to EMERALD on 28 November.
LOIRE was in ordinary at Deptford at the beginning of 1807 and later in the year Capt. Alexander Wilmot SCHOMBERG, 10/07, was appointed to her as she fitted out at Woolwich. Early in the spring of 1808 he was sent, with Capt. AYSCOUGH in SUCCESS under his orders, to protect the fisheries in Arctic waters. Although the ships were only fitted for service in the Channel they pressed on to the edge of the ice north of Spitzbergen. On 4 June they reached 77 deg 30 min N.
Towards the close of 1808 LOIRE, with AMELIA and CHAMPION, escorted an important convoy of 168 transports carrying Sir David Baird's army of 14,OOO men from Falmouth to Corunna. The four day passage was accomplished without any loss whatsoever. SYBILLE was unable to join the escort because of a leak in her magazine.

LOIRE was then employed in co-operation with Spanish patriots along the coast and, at the end of January, took on board 10O Russian prisoners of war for a passage to England. At noon on 5 February 1809, when LOIRE was about 150 miles north-west of Lisbon in thick and squally weather, Capt. SCHOMBERG fell in with a French national ship of war in the act of taking a ship and a brig. When the LOIRE approached she abandoned her prizes and made all sail with LOIRE in hot pursuit. It was eight o'clock at night before he caught up with her and brought her to action and after about twenty minutes she surrendered. She was the HEBE, frigate built and armed with eighteen 24-pound carronades and two long 12-pounders. Lieut. Bretonneuiere commanded a crew of 160 men and they were taking 60O barrels of flour from Bordeaux to San Domingo. In the 38 days she had been out she had taken three English vessels: Brig ENTERPRISE from Liverpool; Brig LORD MULGRAVE for Vigo and brig BACCHUS for Gibraltar.

HEBE was added to the Royal Navy as GANYMEDE.

LOIRE escorted a convoy carrying the 60th regiment from Spithead to Barbados at the beginning of 1810 and was then stationed to the windward of Guadaloupe to blockade that island. After the French surrendered on 3 February, Capt. SCHOMBERG took Captain-General Ernouf and his suite to England where they arrived in March. Two of the transports, full of French prisoners, in the convoy foundered in a violent hurricane.
May 1810
In May 1810 LOIRE saved the sloop SNAKE from being captured by eight Danish brigs off the coast of Norway. During a sudden calm the Danes escaped by sweeping. For the rest of the summer LOIRE was stationed in the Gulf of Finland watching the Russian fleet. She then cruised at the entrance to the Cattegat with CRUISER and EREBUS until the autumn weather forced her to return home for a refit. Capt. SCHOMBERG then accompanied the outward bound West India convoy as far as Madeira.
The following year LOIRE, with two frigates and a sloop, was employed in the Sleeve for the protection of the Baltic trade. She and MINOTAUR sailed together from Wingo Sound on 15 December but when they were off Camperdown on the 19th Capt. SCHOMBURG, ignoring the advice his master and the pilot, decided to change on to the larboard tack and stand further out into the North Sea. MINOTAUR persisted on her course and was wrecked near the Texel on the night of the 22nd.
LOIRE returned to the Baltic in the spring of 1812 and kept the Danish cruisers blockaded so that only a single sloop was necessary to escort convoys across the North Sea. After escorting a westboud convoy out into the Atlantic Capt. SCHOMBURG moved to YORK in August 1812.
1812 to 1813
1812 Thomas BROWN, Madeira. She was actively employed on the coast of North America during the war and on 10 December 1813 she captured the ROLLA privateer of 5 guns and 8O men which had sailed from Newport the night before.
June 1813
On 1 June Capt. BARRIE with the ST. LAWRENCE schooner and the boats of ALBION and DRAGON fell back before an American flotilla standing down the Chesapeake but when the British ships off Smith's Point got under weigh the flotilla escaped into the Patuxent. On the 7th LOIRE and JASEUR joined and they went up river with the schooner and the boats. The enemy retreated into St. Leonard's creek where they were safe from attack.

1815 Capt. James NASH, Spithead. Later in the year in ordinary at Plymouth.

Notes & References
  1. Source: SHIPS OF THE OLD NAVY - (L section)
  2. Naval Database